North Arkaba Church
A Memorial to the Early Pioneers of the District
Flinders Ranges of
- The North Arkaba School is situated on the right hand side of Wilpena
Rd, 10kms north of Hawker.
The school was built after Mr James Sweet, an original pioneer, provided
.2 ha of land, in 1888, under trusteeship.
The one teacher school was open from 1888-1918 and 1932-1941. A wood
fire provided winter warmth and in summer the only respite from the
heat was cool drinking water from a canvas water-bag. Students sat at
four long wooden desks with ink wells. Junior classes wrote on slate
with chalk. The only period where the student levels exceeded 20 was
in 1897 and 1898.
Marbles, hopscotch and knuckle-bones were popular games enjoyed by the
- Ken Sweet, great grandson of
James, can recall riding a horse to school in the 1930’s and leaving
it tethered in a nearby yard while attending lessons. Other students
drove buggies, however many walked up to 8 kms to and from school. Ken
can also remember the wonderful music played by Fred and Alf Groch on
their piano accordions for dances and social events. Local members
of the Wesleyan Church used the building for worship from 1888 until
cessation of services in 1928, at which time the church people remaining
in the area attended services in Hawker. However in 1943, when petrol
rationing became an issue, the church goers that lived in the Arkaba
area decided to again conduct services at the School which had closed
2 years earlier. The School then became known at the North Arkaba Methodist
Church. On occasions night services were held under the light of two
hanging Miller lamps (kerosene lamps with glass surrounds). Music was
provided for services by organists from local families until closure
of the Church in 1955. The facility has remained closed since.
The 125th Anniversary of the building will take place in 2013.
- It would be a wonderful tribute to the early pioneers of the area
if the building could be renovated and preserved for the generations
to come. Malcolm Sweet Great Great Grandson.
All enquiries to Flinders Ranges Accommodation Booking Service
P.O. Box 14, Hawker 5434
OR call at Teague's MOGAS Service Station on the Cnr Cradock &
Wilpena Roads Hawker 5434
For booking please call Hawker in South Australia.
Within Australia 1800 777 880
Phone +61 8 86484022 - Fax +61
8 86484283 or