Eighty years after his first day at Spearwood Primary School, Tony Zuvela returned yesterday to swap stories with youngest pupil Jordan Bowers, 4, as part of the school's centenary.
When Mr Zuvela, 87, started school as a six-year-old child of Croatian immigrants in 1934, he could speak only three words of English - "hello" and "thank you".
He went on to become a teacher and completed a full circle by returning to Spearwood Primary as principal in 1987.
He was one of several special guests invited back to take part in a celebration concert last night to mark 100 years since the school opened on June 27, 1914.
Mr Zuvela said one of his earliest memories was being caned by the headmaster for joining other boys in climbing pine trees at the front of the school.
Spearwood's deputy principal Julie Bassett said it was holding other events throughout the centenary year, including a last-term dress-up day where children wore 1914 period costume and played traditional games such as knucklebones and marbles.