Love - We have a story to tell!

History of Channel Christian School

In the early 1980s Calvin Christian School in Kingston had its Primary classes filled to capacity. The Board at the time were reluctant to turn families away, so decided it was time to consider starting another Christian Primary School south of Kingston.

Mr John Hofman, the first Principal of Calvin Christian School took on the task of chairing a committee to investigate the possibilities. This committee began its work in 1985 with a group of parents predominantly living in the fast-growing suburb of Margate.

The first task was to gauge interest and support from families south of Kingston. Through advertising and monthly reports sent out, there was soon a growing number of keen families willing to commit to, and be involved in, starting another Christian School.

By 1987 there was enough support from the Margate and Huonville areas and a good number of children to begin a school. As most of the support was coming from Margate it was decided that finding land in Margate would be the next step. There was land available, but not suitable for a school.

God had a plan! One day in June, he prompted Mr. Reg Doedens, one of the founding members of Calvin Christian School, to drive down Margate’s Beach Road  to a dirt driveway where he approached a man working in his shed. Reg asked him, “Are you interested in selling your property?” The answer was “Yes, as a matter of fact I am!” A price was set, the Board was informed, a contract signed, an architect engaged and an application for building approval put into Council. Despite some hurdles, things moved very quickly.

Mr Murk van Driezum, another retired founding member, stepped in to help get the building started. The first stage of the school was built mainly with voluntary labour, as many future parents came along Saturday after Saturday and any time in between to help. There was great enthusiasm, a strong sense of community, commitment and much joy in seeing the school erected in record time ready for the opening in February, 1988.

A name for the school had yet to be decided, so invitations for suggestions were sent out. Because the name ‘Channel’ refers to the whole area south of Kingston, not just Margate and because there were also many historical connections, it was chosen by the committee and the new school became Channel Christian School.

Mr. Peter van der Schoor was appointed as the first Principal. He had already started three other Christian Schools around the country as Principal, and led Channel for the first 20 years. Another wonderful provision from God. The school opened with three classrooms, an office and staffroom, plus a wet area in the middle of a lush green paddock, with a narrow gravel track leading to it. The playground was a pile of dirt! That gravel track became Endeavour Avenue, and the adjoining streets were named Adventure and Discovery – all named in honour of Captain Cook’s boats, but also describing both the excitement of schooling and a life of following Jesus Christ!

The school began with 40 students. There was a Prep/1/2 teacher and Mr. Peter van der Schoor was the 3/4/5/6 teacher. By the end of the first year there were 49 students. The second year started with 75 students enrolled and a third teacher was appointed as the Prep teacher with a full class. By 1990, there were 5 classes and 113 students.

During those early years, and still continuing today we see that God is faithful in leading families to the Channel Christian School community because they seek to honour God in Christian Education and prepare children for a life in which they will serve God. Praise God for His faithfulness and continuing provision!