1950-1959 Potted History

Information sourced from A Jubilee Retrospective by Robert Ewins and CHESS newsletters

Even though the school was overcrowded with inadequate facilities and staff shortages, students of the 1950s participated in professional and academic programs and a wide range of sports. Annual visits to and by Warrigal HS were a highlight. Boys and girls were kept separate at assemblies, in the school yard and in some classes. Dedicated and highly qualified teachers had a positive influence, despite having 40 pupils in each class in Years I to IV.


  • The school song was first performed at the Speech night. The words were written by Miss Egan and music by Mr Hallett.
  • The school orchestra performed at the Prefects Induction, the Choral Festival, Anzac Day and Empire Day.
  • 2 Bristol pre-fab classrooms were built to ease accommodation problems.
  • Fences were installed but no gates.


  • A. T. Ebbels was the Headmaster between 1953 and 1957.


  • Scenes from Shakespeare’s King Lear and A.A. Milne’s The Ugly Duckling were staged.


  • Because the girls had to change for sport in the bicycle shed with an earth floor, fundraising commenced for a gymnasium with proper changing rooms.
  • The Choral Festival was held at Hawthorn Town Hall for the first time.
  • Rowing was introduced under coaches, Harold Begbie followed by Michael Aikman, a King’s Cup winner and member of 1956 Olympic crew.


  • The Sports Pavilion was completed in May. Phys. Ed. classes began immediately despite no electricity for months.
  • There was a wide range of inter-school competitions and some outstanding sportsmen. Neil Twitt carried the Olympic torch in 1956 and Lindsay Kline was the school’s only test cricketer.
  • School finished early to allow students and staff to attend the Olympic games.
  • The 1st matriculation year commenced with 54 students and 14 subjects.
  • Languages offered were Form I Latin, Form II French or Latin.
  • Students could also study musical appreciation, woodwork and needlework.
  • More building works included a men’s staffroom and an arts and crafts room.


  • The Sports Pavilion was officially opened and named the Moffatt pavilion after a Hawthorn Councillor. Discussions began to also build a gymnasium.


  • 19 Asian students were now attending the school.
  • The comedy Quality Street was staged at the Camberwell Town Hall.


  • The new gymnasium was finished at the cost of 2,300 pounds.
  • There was a regimented order to the school week. Monday-whole school assembly; Tuesday–house assemblies; Wednesday-boys and girls’ assemblies; Friday-Christian Education for Protestants, plus separate classes for Catholics and Jews.
  • The Head of the River was won by three of our Eights.