[singlepic id=369 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has congratulated Innisfail East State School on its 75th anniversary.

“The school is on the banks of the Johnston River and has close ties with the local banana and sugar industries, because of this it’s had fluctuating student enrolments over the past 75 years,” Mr Pitt said.

“Now with more than 200 students the school has the latest educational facilities including a new multi- purpose hall, which was officially opened yesterday, as a prelude to the anniversary celebrations.

“The school’s new resources coexist alongside its historical Rain Trees which still stand on the school oval as they did when the school opened in 1936.

“The Rain Trees are a reminder of the school’s links to the past and are featured on the school uniform.

“The school and its trees have survived three major cyclones within the last 25 years, Winifred in 1986, Larry, the most destructive to hit the region, in 2006 and then Cyclone Yasi which hit at the beginning of this year.

“From each of these natural disasters the school recovered with the help of a supportive community.”

Mr Pitt said the 75th anniversary reunion continues today and tomorrow giving former students, staff and community members the opportunity to reminisce.

“It’s a time to celebrate the many achievements of past students and the dedication of staff toward providing a quality education to the community,” he said.

“Former students have been successful in a range of professions from the art world to the competitive arena of international sport.

“The school’s alumni include newsreader Bruce Paige, outback artist Tom McAuley and Australian soccer player, current Sydney FC coach Steve Corica.

“The school has contributed greatly to the community providing a safe, secure and caring environment for East Innisfail children to learn in,” Mr Pitt said.

“Many students have gone on to become teachers themselves, who in turn, have contributed to the next generation of students.”