Accessible Page Links

Page Tools

Main page Content

04 - Celebrating the efforts of pioneer women

​Mrs & Mr Ludwig Rackemann in Dec 1901 with one of their younger children.
Below is a letter written in 1975 by former student Martha Steward, nee Rackemann, a daughter of Mr and Mrs Ludwig [Louie] Rackemann, to the Goodwood School’s 75th Jubilee Association. In the letter she praises her late mother’s efforts to raise much needed funds to build the school.


In reference to the 75 Jubilee of the Goodwood School:

... My maiden name was Martha Pauline Rackemann bom 1898, and I commenced at [Goodwood] school in 1904. I am the fifth daughter of Mr and Mrs Ludwig [Louie] Rackemann.

There were 8 daughters and one son [Edward] in the family, all of whom attended Goodwood State School excepting the youngest daughter. I think the three oldest sisters were foundation pupils....

This year [1975] being International Women's Year, I would like to pay tribute to the pioneer women of 80 and 90 years ago, of which my mother was one.

I doubt if it was placed on record that my mother was the prime mover, or founder of the Goodwood School. She had to contend with many difficulties and opposition and apathy to get things moving.

Finally a meeting was held and she set about collecting funds for the school. She collected £20 and handed it to the treasurer who sometime later absconded with the money. In spite of the embarrassment it caused her, she never gave up. This time Mother bundled her five little girls into a light cart and drove through a river crossing [no bridge] then a further 5 miles to put her case before Mr Blissett, of Blissett and Hart (sugar mill owners).

Mr Blissett then took over and got in touch with Colonel Rankin the Member of Parliament for Isis District. Mother then resumed her collecting and thus a school was built and everyone was happy....

Wishing everyone a very happy day,

Mrs P. Stoward [nee Rackemann] October 11th 1975

* * *

History shows that people often receive little acknowledgment for their voluntary work. For the record then, let us acknowledge those who over the years have silently contributed to this school and to this area, those whose names may be lost in history, but whose deeds, none the less, are worthy of our gratitude.