On 16 April 1888, the doors of School House at Townsville Grammar School were opened by staff for the very first time to welcome 23 eager students.
125 years later, the almost 900 students on the North Ward campus will walk past that same building, standing proudly in the School grounds, on their way to class.
In 1903, School House was virtually destroyed by Cyclone Leonta, however the building was rebuilt, featuring thicker cement mortared walls and steel roof bracing to fare better in our tropical conditions.
Townsville Grammar School is the oldest co-educational school on mainland Australia, accepting its first female students in 1893 -- a revolutionary move in its time.
Many aspects of Grammar have changed in the past 125 years -- the faces, buildings, curriculum and more. However there are other aspects of the School, the foundation stones upon which it is built, that have remained rock solid.
The founders of the School, the original Board of Trustees, aimed to provide North Queensland families with a school in which the youth of North Queensland can be qualified for their future careers where local interest watches their progress and stimulates them to intellectual achievements (from the original School Prospectus, 1888). This philosophy, coupled with the values of good manners, respect, discipline and personal best academic endeavour, are all hallmarks of the same school 125 years on.
The entrance of Japan in December 1941 into World War Two had a dramatic effect on Townsville Grammar School. The Queensland Government closed all schools in the district and students had to move either south or to Charters Towers. In March, 1942, the Government rescinded their closure of all schools and allowed schools to re-open. As the TGS North Ward Campus had been taken over by the RAAF in January 1942, Townsville Grammar had to move and set up a campus in the suburb of Hermit Park, with the school operating on that campus from 10 March 1942 to 1944.
Townsville Grammarians have proudly served their country as members of various defence forces since the Boer War. Sadly some fifty-nine Past Grammarians have paid the supreme sacrifice in conflicts from WWI to the Vietnam War. An honour board which commemorates all students who have served is located in the Front Office of the North Ward Campus.
Many buildings have been built throughout the year, including the Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Boarding Dormitory, Ceramics and Art Studio, Performing Arts Complex and Music Centre, among many others.
In recent years, Townsville Grammar School opened a Junior School in Annandale in 1997, at that time catering for students in Preschool to Year 6. In 2008, the Junior School opened the Pre-Prep Centre, catering for students aged four years old.
In 2006, Year 7 students returned to the North Ward Campus to a $6.5 million state of the art Middle School Precinct, comprising of fourteen new classrooms to become part of the inaugural Middle School (7-9) intake.
To celebrate the momentous occasion of turning 125, the School has organised a number of events, including:
125th Anniversary Commemorative Photo - North Ward Campus (Years 7-12) - 18 April 2013
125th Commemorative Cook Book - $40 available from the Front Office in Term 2
125th Anniversary Boarding Family Function - 21 June 2013, 5.30 - 10.00pm, Muller Oval, North Ward Campus, Townsville
125th Anniversary Black & Gold Ball - All welcome- 27 July 2013
125th Gala Reunion - All Past Grammarians are invited back to this gala reunion - 10 August 2013, Mercure Inn, Townsville
125th Anniversary Black & Gold Circus Fair - Annandale Campus - 31 August 2013 - 5.30 - 7.30pm
125th Anniversary Grammarian Magazine
Happy 125th Birthday Townsville Grammar School!
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