Graduation is Just the Beginning
Being a part of the Huntingtower community continues far beyond the completion of Year 12. Upon graduating from Huntingtower all students become members of the Huntingtower Old Students' Association (HOSA).
HOSA is committed to fostering friendships and providing opportunities for engagement among our broad membership of thousands of past students. Working to support both past students and the school as a whole, HOSA's activities include:
HOSA provides opportunities to promote and support social, business, and entrepreneurial networks amongst past students and supporters of Huntingtower, to nurture the aspirations of the Huntingtower student body and to support the strategic initiatives of Huntingtower School. If you have any new ideas or initiatives you think might help further the Alumni Program and Huntingtower’s goals, please let us know.
Huntingtower Old Students' Association (HOSA)
If you would like to stay in contact with all your Huntingtower friends, we absolutely recommend that you maintain your membership of the Huntingtower Old Students' Association (HOSA). Various functions such as the famous HOSA/HT Grads Sports Day, Business Breakfasts, the school fete, class reunions and the fabulous HOSA theatrical productions give plenty of opportunities for you to meet up with friends, past teachers, parents and students from other year groups. All these events enrich and support our wonderful Huntingtower community.
HT GRADS and HOSA has merged into one group. Having one central location for HOSA (Huntingtower Old Students’ Association), will make communication with all our alumni easier, and means we can share news, updates, achievements, and events in one group.
Please provided us with your latest details and indicate your communication preferences.
So we can connect the history of Huntingtower families, please also indicate if any of your parents or grandparents attended Huntingtower and provide their details.
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If you would like to be removed from our alumni communication, please fill out the form below.
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A Midsummer Night's Dream
Huntingtower Senior School Present's A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare and adapted by Trent Bockman and Anna Dowling.
A Midsummer Night's Dream takes you on a journey of love, mystery and mayhem as a group of tradies prepare a play, lovers run away, and magical fairies get in the way! Celebrated as one of the best comedies ever written, this show will have you laughing from start to finish!
Bookings advised! Door sales will be available if not sold out.
Thursday 22 July - Evening Performance - 7.30pm
Friday 23 July - Evening Performance - 7.30pm
Saturday 24 July - Matinee - 1.00pm
Saturday 24 July - Evening Performance - 7.30pm
Concession, Student/Children, Senior Citizen: $15
Groups of 10+: $15
Performance Duration: 1.5 hours with a 20 minute interval.
Refreshments provided by the P&F
Click here to book - bookings open June 12!
Classes of 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016.
Dates: To be determined.
Some of Our Huntingtower World War II Heroes
House Captain (1934), Taken from Harold's nephew Richard Taubman's extracts
He was one of 3 brothers who were Huntingtower boarders from NSW in the 30’s. They all served in WWII.
Harold was a RAAF Nose Gunner / Bomb Aimer. He was seriously injured in September 1942 and was one of the pioneer plastic surgeon, Archie McIndoe’s, “guinea pigs” whose faces that were “mashed, fried or boiled by the war in the air.”
On one mission Harold and the crew of “S” Sugar took off in their Lanc toward Germany. After flying in the wrong direction for 5 minutes they arrived at the target 10 minutes late while the rest of the fleet were returning. They were over the target by themselves when they were caught in three “cones” or search beams. Under attack they dove vertically from 24,000 feet while Harold shot out the cones. The rest of the crew screaming from the pressure that made their ears bleed. They pulled up at 1500 feet. Badly damaged they staggered back to 6000 feet to drop their load and head back across the English Channel. Harold’s job was then to check that all their bombs had released, but half had “hung up” in the plane.
Harold suggested they turn around to release the rest of their load, but with no instruments or hydraulics they dropped them in the sea and just made it to the coast where they belly landed.
Head Prefect (1931)
Like many others, Leslie married his sweetheart immediately upon his return - wanting to get on with life and forget the past.
House Captain (1938)
Patrick was a Flight Lietenant, RAAF DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross).
He took off from Little Staughton and after flying into snow, lost power on both port engines. His plane crashed at 11.50am near Corby. Two of the crew were killed.
Some of Our Serving Women
World War II
Patricia Amies (AWAS)
Pamela Batten (WAAAF)
Helen Durant (AWAS)
Helen Serpell (WAAAF)
Jean Tainsh (Land Army)
Peggy Warren (WAAAF)
Some of Our Serving Men
World War II
Westy Anstice (Armoured Division)
David Armfield (Australian Army)
Don Bain (Australian Army)
Ian Baron (Australian Army)
Ken Bishop (Australian Army)
Jack Durant (Home Defence Force)
David Edwards (RAAF)
Stan Goldsworthy (RAAF)
Jack Greenhill (RAAF)
Leslie Greenhill (Australian Army)
Neville Gunnis (RAAF) - Guinea Pig
Russell Howorth (RAAF)
Brandon Boyce Kersey (Airforce Reserve) - Killed July 1943
Brian Kinch (RAAF)
Simon Kinch (Australian Army)
John Lothian (Lieutenant Corp.) - Japanese POW, Released 1945
John Martin (Australian Army)
Preston Martin (Australian Army)
Albert Rainey (RAAF)
Jack Rasey (Bombadier AIF)
Peter Rollison (RAAF)
John Samuel (Pilot, RAAF)
Jeffery Solomon (RAAF)
Douglas Tainsh (Australian Army)
Alan Taubman (Australian Army)
Harold Taubman (Nose Gunner) - Injured 1942
Patrick Terpening (Flight Lietenant) - Killed April 1945
Bob Warren (Sergeant AIF)
Harold Woolcott (AIF)
Although the faces, buildings and grounds may change, we trust the spiritual values and the qualities of kindness and care at Huntingtower are the same now as it was then.
End of an Era - Huntingtower Boarding House Reflections
In 2020, with a heavy heart, the Huntingtower School Association advised the school community of the decision to close the present boarding house facility. The School Board and Principal will continue to investigate ways to accommodate future students from country Victoria, interstate, or overseas who value a Huntingtower education.
If you would like to submit your own memory of the Huntingtower Boarding House, please fill out the form below for review.
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Director of Boarding (2008-2020)
I remember coming through the Huntingtower school gates way back in 2008 with our young family and feeling a sense of excitement as well as a calmness as we entered the magnificent grounds. It was like entering the Botanical Gardens, or a holiday resort. It was a hot summer day and the cicadas were humming a welcome to us.
At the time we had no idea how long we would be here: one, two or three years. We did not imagine we would be here for 13 years playing ‘dad and mum’ to over 500 beautiful children.
We started off for the first three and a half years living in the Cottage (next to the Uniform Shop). It was very compact. In 2011 we moved to the larger and grander Residence, next to the Boarding House. During our time here, we have seen many changes to the school surroundings including development of the hockey pitch, relocation of the tennis courts, the building of the HSAC Pool, the VCE building, the MYC and PAC and developing the car parks and running track. Even the BH got its own renovations back in 2012. But more than the buildings, the BH has always been about the people. The connections, strong sense of community, family, extended family, continuity of generations within families; a rich tapestry of students, siblings, staff, parents, cultural and educational diversity; a ‘League of Nations’ all living and learning together.
In the BH we have always strived to create a welcoming, nurturing, encouraging, tolerant, warm, inclusive, supportive environment, a home away from home, a retreat, a haven, a hub. We worked to create a BH life separate from school life by creating a friendly and less formal environment. I laugh when I think of some of the names boarders have called me over the years including Phil Dog (it was early days and I had to think about that one, but yes, ok!), Farmer Phil (by our rural boarders), Father Phil, Mr Phil…they were all part of our extended family.
Of course, there have been the characters; the studious ones, the quiet ones, the-loud-and-out-there ones and the ones in between. These are merely labels and do not do justice to the qualities each student expressed - all individuals. Cherubs I’d call them: some students just being more cherubic than others. There have been the pranks and hi jinks, the shenanigans and the reprimands. We have laughed together, cried (sometimes) together, celebrated the achievements: personal, academic, sporting, musical, birthdays, cultural. We’ve had sober reflections and counselled them to see their better selves and been there for the highs and lows of everyday life. Within the structure of the day and night controlled by the attention grabbing BH bell ringing for meals, room inspections, meetings, wake ups, and more we have taught life skills – time management, grooming, keeping a tidy room, washing, ironing, dining etiquette, social interaction and politeness skills, responsibility, inclusion and tolerance.
We’ve cherished memories of seeing the students grow into young adults and sharing the journey with them, we’ve sat down and shared dinner and conversations together with our own family, the boarders, and staff; made lifelong friends with a number of boarders and their families and with staff, parents and gap students. The many weekend excursions and activities included beach trips, BBQ’s, go-karting, paint ball, laser tag, picnics, movies, festivals, rec room and gym activities. With all of the landscaped grounds, sporting facilities, chortling magpies, colourful twittering parrots and night-time possums (and more recently the lovely chooks), living here on weekends and holidays was like staying at a resort. The last 13 years have been like starring in our own time lapse movie.
And now time to pack away the BH bell, close the doors one last time and wave farewell and move on to life beyond. But still the memories will remain of happy rewarding and uplifting times, of lives and journeys shared and shaped together.
Project Manager, Former Student & Boarder (1977)
Following a small trail of kiwis that boarded at Huntingtower over the years, I arrived from New Zealand in 1977. I remember the first night in the Boarding House. I had to get another boarder, Jamie Nye, to remove a massive huntsman spider from my ineffective flywire window screen. Jamie, age 8 and from Tasmania, had his own bull ants’ nest in his room. I was 17 and had never encountered a spider that size.
I went on to make lifelong friends from my boarding house family including supervisors Russ and Rhonda Jenkin, fellow Form 6 inmates Jan Savage and Hilary Sullivan. Like me, they were somehow drawn back to have careers working at Huntingtower.
Then, of course my wife and life partner, Libby (Paton) and I came together in the boarding house. After school, there were secret rendezvous in the old tennis shed before the dinner bell brought us in for serves of roast lamb and chips followed by lemon meringue pie, all lovingly prepared by Gwen Read (another kiwi) and Mrs Drysdale. This was all washed down with milk or water... boarders back then were not allowed tea or coffee!
I was a border at HT from the age of 10– to 17. My father was with Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia and lived in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. My brother, sister and I were sent to the Huntingtower boarding school as there were no appropriate schools in New Guinea.
So many special memories for me: Saturday mornings cycling down Waimarie Drive to the milk bar to get some Cherry Ripes. Waking up early before everyone else for music practice down in the school classrooms. Cold winter mornings and the old fishpond in front of the house parents’ home frozen over. Sometimes we had dance evenings. Margaret Collins taught me the barn dance. Getting up early one cold morning in 1969 to watch the landing of the moon on black-and-white television with all the rest of the borders sitting around with huge anticipation, such an exciting event for a little boy away from home sharing special moments with the boarding family.
We only used to go home once a year, so holidays were spent with kind families that took us in. I was sent away to a Braford Stud farm up in Shepparton - that started my love for farming, which brings us to now, having our own 120-acre farm in Kangaroo Valley!
Russ & Rhonda Jenkin
Supervisors (Late 1970s)
In 1977, Rhonda and I had come across from Western Australia with our 6-month old first son, Bradley, so that I could take up a teaching position in the Huntingtower Junior School. Given our recent experience in dealing with boarders, Rhonda and I were invited to join the HT Boarding House Parents at that time, Joan and Bill Wade. In that year, HT boarders came from Queensland, N.S.W., the A.C.T., country Victoria and New Zealand. The well-mannered and respectful Huntingtower students of that day were quite a contrast to some of the ‘rogue students’ we had come to love in Port Hedland. HT Boarders could never match the extremities to which some of our Hedland students had gone, but of course there are degrees of ‘roguish’ human behaviour.
Present-day Huntingtower Project Manager, Rob Kitchingman was a Year 12 Boarder in those days and he delighted in leading mildly roguish behaviour. He respectfully asked Mrs Wade if he could have a pot of tea at his table each evening meal ‘...because I have been used to that, at home.’ Request rejected! Towards the end of that year Rob K thought that it would be good fun for the boys and girls to change dormitories for the night – girls to the lower floor, boys upstairs. Rob may not have anticipated the initial shock experienced by the supervisors when they called the students to ‘rise-and-shine’ early the next morning!
Mrs Drysdale was our cook in the kitchen and she worked so hard to prepare lovely meals, always with a smile. Students were rostered to set tables, serve the meals, clear the tables and wash and dry the dishes – all good training and usually done quite happily. Rhonda and I enjoyed two stints as supervisors in the Huntingtower Boarding House in 1977 and 1978 but had to decline further invitations as our young family grew.
Boarder (1967), Supervisor (1980)
I was a weekly boarder in first term of 1967 and the House Parents were Rob and June Drijver. The House Supervisors were Christine Brookes, David Wharton and Mrs Pearce. I was in Grade 5 and I shared a room with Scott Crawford from Fiji who was the youngest in Boarding House and was in Grade 4.
Scott Wilson was in Form 3 and everyone knew him as he was the ’Bellboy’. He would ring the bell each morning at 6:30 am and the again at 7 am for room inspection and again for ‘quiet time’ to read the Lesson and ring the gong in the lobby for breakfast. At 5:30 pm he would ring the large outside bell for us to come inside and prepare for dinner. He’d ring the bell again to commence ‘Prep time’ for homework.
Saturday nights were spent in the Rec Room for skits, charades and joke telling. There was one black and white TV but it was rarely used and only by the senior students for educational purposes.
Apart from the homely environment, the Boarding House provided an opportunity to get to know those who were in other years and their friends. In 1980 I returned to the Boarding House as a supervisor with Bill and Joan Wade as House Parents and Allan Bossen and Margaret Kee as supervisors.
In 2005, my daughter Fiona in Year 7 was a boarder for a term and during Year 12 in 2010 she was a boarder for a semester. Whilst there had been changes from my time as a boarder, the general routine and loving environment remained unchanged. This was a strength of boarding house life.
Rhonda & John Bruce
From letters to their mother Kathleen Bruce provided by Serena Marriott.
During 1951, my grandparents went on an extended overseas trip, and John (aged 16) and Rhonda (aged 14) stayed at the Boarding House during term time under the care of the Mathers. Rhonda and John seemed very aggrieved that they didn’t get a proper ‘tea’ (i.e. tea and cake) at the boarding house, so various people took pity on them and gave them tea and cake at different times!
‘I will tell you what it’s like boarding now. It’s great fun and I am in a dormitory with three other girls. We all have bunks so there are two in our room. A little while ago Di Murray was in bed and we had to get her tea, so Miriam Clifton and I cut three pieces of bread and took them over to Mercer, where we toasted them. Di only wanted one piece, so we had a piece each too, and a cup of tea, which we rarely get here. It was great fun! It is boarders weekend this week and we are having a Fete on Sat.
Mummy, you asked about my dormitory etc. I am in a dormy of four. We are in bunks. I’m above Denise Snowdon whom I met at Adelaide. Toni Rees is above Jennifer Hope who is nice. She’s the new girl Gigi knows from Canberra. There are two other dormy’s, one with six and one with two people. We have called our dormy ‘quatre intelligent’ which means four intelligent. The six-bed dormitory have called theirs Walla Parky which means Noisy Place. And there’s not a more suitable name!
We’re having a boarders’ play and it’s so funny! The name is ‘The Importance of being Earnest’; you possibly know it. I’m Miss Prism and John is Jack Worthing and he has to propose to the head prefect! It’s screamingly funny really. We had boarders party last Tues night. It was a great success too. A group of boarders did a mime of our ‘Nonsense Plays’ - do you know which I mean? I was Isolde, John was Guido the Gimlet from Gent, which is the name of the play. Max Wilson was going to be married to me, but Guido interrupts. Mim read J. Weston and M. Stubbs (who) were two of my suitors. J Hobsworth was the King (my father). Everybody said it was very good.
Oh, the girl boarders went to see “The Ghost Goes West” last week. Isn’t it funny? We’ve got a school dog now. Mr Mather bought him a few days go. He’s only 4 1/2 months old and full of life. He’s half cocker and half border collie. He’s settled down quite well and when we’re in dinner, he sits outside and whines quietly because he can smell the dinner.’
Wartime Boarding, by Shirley Paine (ex Principal)
In 1942 Huntingtower moved to the Guest House ‘Nammoora’ in Falls Road, Mount Dandenong. The boys had their dormitories at ‘The Oaks’ Guest House nearby.
School was held in a small church hall. Composite classes of pupils sat in rows of old wooden desks. School uniform was jodhpurs, school shirts and jumpers and sometimes wellies - Wellington boots. And like other school children in those years they knitted for the war effort – socks and balaclavas. Strange shapes grew from four knitting needles.
One boy recalls: ‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. I think it was true for all of us young people: we remained keenly aware of the distant nightmare other parts of the world were at that moment suffering. Brothers, cousins, parents, old Huntingtower students and staff members were caught up in a series of events that came to us in sometimes devastating news bulletins.
There was a certain irony in our continuing our peaceful studies of Intermediate and Leaving subjects at such a time of tumultuous world happenings, which nevertheless touched us, cocooned as we were in what really was a thoughtful and loving, safe environment made possible by the concern of our parents and the school.’
As Junior Boys we were down near the house master’s room and entry out to the vestibule, dinning and recreation rooms. The girls were upstairs. On walking in, each room had two beds to the left, wardrobes and drawers to the right, followed by two built-in desks. The outside wall was painted brick while the metal window frames were also covered by a metal fly screen.
The screen proved most useful later as an aerial for my crystal set. Radio sets and record players were not permitted in the dormitories but it was possible to lie in bed with an ear plug, connect onto the fly screen and listen to music highly likely to be considered undesirable by Mr Mather, the arbiter on all things social, cultural and what was good for us.
Every Sunday after breakfast at 9.30am there was the Dressing Bell when we all got into our school uniforms. At 10.00am there was Personal Inspection when we groomed each other like a troupe of monkeys, making sure that last bit of lint was removed from our blazers and dry-cleaning fluid used on those drops of gravy.
Then we all piled into an old bus (which had a name like Bertha or Matilda) and went into Second Church of Christ Scientist at Camberwell. The boys were in one bus, the girls in another.
Christine Brooke (Campbell)
I came from Barmera, country SA and used to be driven up to Mildura to catch the DC 3 from there to Melbourne. Mr Mather used to pick me up! We got on well... he let me and Tamara and maybe Sue Brockhoff get our bathers on and run under the sprinklers… i.e. until Mrs Mather saw us! I used to love all the Brockhoff biscuits especially Cheds (Arnotts make these now) and in the winter we’d have them for supper with cocoa and in the summer cordial… Sue B and I would sometimes raid those bickies!
I remember the terrible cold of Melbourne and would get chilblains on my feet and would always be first to huddle over the gas heaters in the classrooms.
I hated having to dress into school uniform to go to Church on a Sunday! Loved walking down through and along the creek to Mt Waverley shops on a Saturday morning with our pocket money to buy condensed milk which we consumed before getting back to the boarding house.
One of my best memories was going to the Royal Melbourne Show and it was my first time I bought showbags. The most exciting memory was seeing Sputnik on the oval at night (late in 1957)! Does Libby Kitchingman (Paton) remember me pulling out her front tooth?
Boarder, Son of House Parents
I had such a unique experience living in the Boarding House - well actually the BH residence as my parents were the House Mother and Father. My parents not only shared their love with me and my siblings, but also with a whole hoard of boarders. The benefits were to always have friends to play games with and the school campus as a backyard. I have so many fond memories and stories of my time in the BH.
Television was only allowed after dinner on a Sunday. There was a mad scramble from the dinner table to secure the best seats on the coach to watch Count Down. We spent hours climbing trees; I can remember climbing one of the pine trees to watch fireworks in the city one night (Mum doesn’t know about that one).
The recreation room was often alive with gatherings around the pool and table tennis tables or transformed on a Saturday night for a function or party. The daily discipline of having set times heralded by a large bell (or ‘gong’ for dinner) for waking, prayer, breakfast and homework appealed to how I liked to operate, although not surprisingly the rigour of the routine tested most teenagers.
Boarding House Mother (1981-1996)
I began my role as Boarding House Mother in 1981. My husband, Ian, and our three children had spent three years in a Youth Hostel where I had cared for up to nine teenage boys, most of whom were wards of the state.
Applying for the position in the Huntingtower School Boarding House seemed like a wonderful opportunity that would be more conducive to raising our growing family.
The following fifteen years were evidence that this was the case. Our children (we eventually had four) had the benefit of attending the school as well as learning the teamwork associated with boarding house life. There were parties, outings, and many more shared activities. It was a wonderful experience for us all, and we have very happy memories.
Boarder (2005), Class of 2008
I was in the boarding house in 2005 for a term. I believe it might have been the first year the boarding house was available for a term for middle school students. During that time, I learned a whole raft of skills that have continued with me for life.
I distinctly remember the house dad, James Younger. He took me on for work experience in the next year at his IT company. He taught me some important lessons about hard work and education which have carried me both in working on my own business and in my own career in aviation.
Playing PC games with housemates after school or having access to the sports grounds were heaps of fun. Movie nights and Backstreet Boys and morning alarms in the dorm were all part of the fun memories that I have of the boarding house. It's sad to see it go, but times do change.
Lisette Olney (Parkyn)
Boarder, Daughter of House Parents
Climbing the trees after school, playing pool, suppertime, going roller skating on a Saturday night. Watching countdown and Doctor Who...theme party nights, hide and seek outside. So many memories. I was there for over 10 years and had some wonderful friendships. Feel very blessed to have been a boarder/ daughter of the house parents back in the mid-80s to mid-90s.
Boarder, Daughter of House Parents
Climbing the boarding house tree, running in big space, making cubbies, gardening, serving, washing, supper, homework, going to corner shop. The outdoor pool and doing the whirlpool and getting sucked into the middle. Stacks on with giant pillows, Saturday movie night, the old fishpond that had giant goldfish in. Having parents as house parents there for 15 years. Having to call them Mr and Mrs Parkyn as they didn't answer to mum and dad. Being 3 years old when I first arrived. After the first year everyone went home. I wanted to know why my brothers and sisters were leaving. Had so much fun. Pillow fights, boarding house parties, going out for meals, hikes, ice skating, roller-skating, beach, helping choose to make birthday cakes for each boarder who couldn't go home for their birthday. My mum wanted each boarder to feel special on their Birthday. Oh- and signing the cupboards and draws in the rooms.
Serena Marriott (Hutchinson-Brooks)
I gained a lot of independence in my various stints; very happy memories. Saturday movie nights, prep time and the reward of supper after it, day trips. Table tennis, mealtimes, washing up groups, inspection every morning. The rush back to the BH at lunch time to be first in line for hot leftovers! The morning bell, and who could forget the GONG for every mealtime!
I was a boarder from 1988 to 89 (Year 8 and 9). Although it was a brief stay, I still have lasting memories of this place. Reading the Bible in a group first thing every morning when I was not fully awake. Playing pool after school in the common room. Hearing seniors practise piano in the evening. Setting up before and cleaning up after supper. And not to forget sneaking into seniors' rooms to chat with them at night.
I was known by the name James Tan.
Learning Enrichment Coordinator (2003-2014)
I have lovely memories of my office being there for a term or two.
What a special atmosphere to be there with the students I was working with and to have interactions with the boarders morning and afternoon.
Remember the tiny frogs in the pond and the tree outside the piano room that we used to climb? Suppers in the Rec Room and mastering the perfect piece of vegemite toast. And the crab-apple tree by the outside staircase. I also learned how to eat REALLY fast so as not to hold up everyone who couldn’t wait to leave the table.
Boris Tze Wing Tong
I have a lot of fond memories living in the boarding house during my study period at HT. Sunday School, playing table tennis, breakfast and dinner times were all just part of those memories. Boarding in HT definitely taught me how to become more independent.
All the April Fools’ day pranks on the boys and supervisors! Our naughty midnight feasts in the corridor. Our trips to Mt Donna Buang.
So many happy memories with so many people from all over the world and Australia.
Great fond memories living in the boarding house from 1995 (Year 7) to 1998 (Year 10).
Class of 2008
Memories of breakfast at the boarding house after early morning swim training.
Oh yeah- boarding house was the highlight of school.
Oh, so sad, so many memories. Gosh those pine trees are so small in this photo. They were enormous in ‘89 and the boarders’ tree was so fun to climb.
The lunches from the boarding house were so good.
... and the breakfasts.
Former Head of Sport, Boarder (1977)
Have lots of fabulous memories that come from life at the HT Boarding House.
Great memories. I had a similar student stint in the BH. Still have vivid memories of getting up early to train on crusty white frosty fields with Scott Crawford as the main motivator.
Oh gosh - the stories that the place can tell - best if I stay quiet at this time.
Part-time Boarder (1960s-70s)
Farewell to the HT boarding house! My sisters and I used to board for several weeks each year while our parents were travelling overseas. I remember the freezing morning showers trying to get the Sunlight Soap to lather, late evening suppers that often involved attempts to toast cheese-topped Savoury Shapes on an electric heater (without causing a fire), and the fact apparently well known among the boys (who lived downstairs) that it was possible to sneak a peek inside the girls' rooms at night if they had their casement windows open a bit, by looking up at the reflection in the glass. Also, the BH had a swimming pool (not used by my time, i.e. mid-60s to 70s) and a clay tennis court. I assume both are long gone by now as the school has expanded.
I loved climbing the trees after school and so often stayed up there to read a book.
Wonderful memories, cherished childhood memories and friends.
I boarded there the whole of Year 12. I mainly remember being cold - studying in my room with a blanket around me and a space heater right next to me going full blast.
Boarder, Daughter of House Parents Bill & Joan Wade
Don’t forget Russell and Rhonda Jenkin as supervisors too!! Plenty of memories - boiled cabbage for dinner, but you couldn’t beat Mrs Read’s shortbread - I still make the same recipe today.
We had Mr and Mrs Russ Collins when I was there in 1973-1974. Fond memories indeed. That bloody morning bell!!
I attended the BH for a couple of years as a way to prepare for study at Dookie Agricultural College. Learnt a lot of useful life and study skills which helped at DAC and in living in Papua New Guinea in later years. Many familiar names and memories evoked by your post. Thanks again for your wonderful story telling, oral history in a contemporary or social media format.
An excellent recall of the bell times Jeffrey. The only perk of being bellboy was being able to have your shower before the bell and the morning rush. The dinner gong started with a quiet pattering, gradually building to a crescendo. During my six years in the boarding house I spent time in every dorm along the corridor. At that time there was quite a New Zealand contingent including the Kayes, Stevens and Langes. Many of us were members of the ‘Junior Jet Club’ and would regularly go up to the cockpit and have the Lockheed Electra Captain sign and add the air miles to our logbooks as we travelled to and fro from school.
Before flying off to school at the start of the year mum would pack new clothes, at the end of the year I would bring home a pile of worn out rags. Admittedly we had to do all our own washing in the old wringer.
In my first week at the boarding house as a little guy, I hadn’t eaten my greens and was sent to the House Parents by the head of my table. Trembling outside the door of the Drijver’s flat I awaited a blast and due punishment. They ushered me in, then asked what I liked. Next, they proceeded to make me a plate of scrambled eggs. I soon got to eat my greens but never forgot the kindness.
Occasionally though, there might be an unpopular dish like meatballs and you always had to have a bit of everything. Those in the know understood that there was a shelf under the table at the junior end. If you were quick, several meatballs could disappear there. However, you had to be careful in doing so that you didn’t knock onto the floor a furry, earlier predecessor.
Early in the piece I wrote home to say how homesick I was; two weeks later I received a worried but supportive letter back from my mum in NZ. I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about- I’d long forgotten it.
We got to drive the old Fergie tractor at weekends and tinker with an old Jart Javelin car called James. Transistor radios were only allowed out at weekends. I had a Phillips Electronic kit and made a radio wired through to the next dorm. One night Mr Wharton stormed in, apparently discovering the noise next door and confiscated my radio for a few weeks. I only then got to make devices like when to water my acorn growing on the windowsill. The boarding house was a good way of developing early independence in a friendly environment.
Past School Captains
Past House Captains
Origins of the Houses