In June 1998 the staff of Forster High School was heartbroken at the news of Mary Ann Bulmer passing away suddenly. Mary was six months shy of her 30th year with the Department of Education. She first started at the Forster Central School1 in 1968 to supervise the intake of administrative staff and to assist with the principal’s clerical work load.
Her duties as Senior Administration Manager became more demanding as the school grew. The school moved to Head Street, Forster where computers gradually took over more tasks and Mary encouraged her staff to embrace the technological age. With increasing enrolments, extra administrative and teaching staff were required and eventually a new school was constructed in Cape Hawke Drive, Forster. At its peak, enrolments reached 1500 students.
Mary Ann Tindall, an only child, was reared in Engerdine, Sydney. As a teenager she was an accomplished ballroom dancer; her mother spending many hours sewing sequins on her gowns. While on holiday in the then sleepy Forster-Tuncurry area Mary met and later married her husband Darrell Bulmer in 1967.2 One of Mary’s fond memories was when the newly married couple attended a function at the Forster RSL where a Celebrity Dance Company was performing and the lead dancer asked her to partner him on the floor.3
With unbounded energy, devotion and professionalism she gave caring support to her staff. Her excited, happy nature and quick smile are remembered by generations of students, her friends and colleagues.
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 Forster Central School started in 1872 and in 1979 was renamed Forster Public School. Government Gazette of the State of NSW, 9 February 1979 [Issue No. 21], 666.
2 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for Darrell Allan Bulmer and Mary Ann Tindall, No. 1077/1967.
3 Great Lakes Advocate June 24, 1998.