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Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

The Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School commemorates Australia`s world famed wheat breeder, William James Farrer.

The school was named to perpetuate the memory of Farrer who was famous for his scientific investigations into the problems associated with the growing of wheat. Farrer's work played a significant role in ensuring the future prosperity of the Australian Wheat Industry. The foundation stone was laid on the 20th August 1938 and the school was officially opened on the 1st July 1939. 

Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School was the third Agricultural High School established in New South Wales, enrolling its first student in 1939. 

William James Farrer (1845-1906) was born in England and arrived in Australia in 1870. He is world famous for his wheat research as he developed a rust resistant strain of wheat. This was extremely important for Australia and enabled her to emerge as a dominant supplier in world wheat production. Farrer and his family lived in the Queanbeyan district.

After many years of delay, the building of an Agricultural High School to serve the northern areas of New South Wales has been begun at Calala, near Tamworth. The foundation-stone was laid last Saturday week by Mr. H. D. Drummond, Minister for Education. At least £70,000 will be spent on the school, and it is intended to establish a plant- breeding and research station in connection with it. The site is an elevated one on Calala Hill, commanding a glorious view of the rich Peel River Valley.
Sydney Mail (NSW) 24 August 1938. 

Associated with the official opening of the Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, at Tamworth, by Mr. D. H. Drummond, Minister for Education, on Saturday last, was the dedication of a bronze tablet to the memory of Farrer. This tablet, presented to the school by Mr. R. W. Gillespie, managing director of Gillespie Bros., Ltd., and president of the Bank of New South Wales, bore the inscription:- William James Farrer, born 3rd April, 1845, died 16th April, 1906, who, by his successful experiments in wheat breeding, rendered lasting service to the prosperity of Australia. "I only want to think when the end comes that my life has not been wasted." In unveiling the tablet, as deputy for the donor, Mr. G. W. Walker said that Mr. Gillespie considered it a great privilege to make this gift to the school, in memory of one of Australia's great public benefactors. Personally, Mr. Walker expressed the hope that from this school there might emerge another Farrer, to carry further the great work initiated by Australia's pioneer wheat breeder.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 5 July 1939.


Address:585 Calala Lane, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Calala , 2340
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.138939
Long: 150.981746
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 1st July, 1939
Front Inscription

Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Est. 1939  Proudly sponsored by Farrer P T & F


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au