It was only fitting that those who begun their education with Whyalla High School (WHS) were the ones to close the door on its illustrious history.
June Chenoweth (class of 1943) turned the lock one last time and sealed over 70 years of history. Helping her with this task was Jazmyn Stevens, a student who is moving on to Whyalla Secondary College.
It was a climax of a closing ceremony held last Friday with alumni such as Harold Havelberg (class of 1943) and Lyn Breuer (student 1964-1968) in attendance along with current students.
Harold helped lower the flags with support from students Ben Spigiel and Alec Melson, and a time capsule was passed on to current WHS Principal Sharon Illingworth from previous Principal Tricia Richman (current WSC Principal) and Edward John Eyre High School Principal David Marino.
Following the ceremony past students and staff were invited inside the school one final time where they were provided with food and drink and given a chance to reminisce.
Mr Havelberg recalls Whyalla High as the "new school" when he attended it during its inaugural year of 1943.
"I was only here for one year because after that I became an apprentice with BHP," he said.
"For the next three or four years we would come here for lectures and that sort of thing, Whyalla High has always been a bit of an icon as far as I'm concerned."
He was joined by his sister Jenn Havelberg and daughter Wendy Trimper for the closing ceremony, though his other siblings Jeff Havelberg and Ann Havelberg were unable to attend.
WHS Principal Sharon Illingwirth, who has overseen the school's last year, said she felt "mixed emotions" about closing this chapter in Whyalla's history.
"Of course there's sadness and some trepidation, but there's a lot of excitement about the future ... the history and memories of Whyalla High School will last a lifetime," she said.
Ms Illingwirth said it was "humbling" to officially close WHS alongside a contingent of former students and staff.
"These people have been with us since the 1940's and their history is in generations, for them to make the effort to come back is lovely and it shows the passion and committment to this school community," she said.
Whyalla High School, Stuart High School and Edward John Eyre High School are closing this year to make way for the new Whyalla Secondary College, which will open in Term 1, 2022.
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