Edition 129 - Thursday 9th April 2020

Sport Houses

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of our House Groups names?

BERRY HOUSE 

Was named after Alexander Berry, who was born in Cupar, Scotland, in 1781. On coming to Australia he gained a seat in the First Legislative Council in New South Wales. When he became an eminent tradesman he was given a large grant of land which his friend, Wollstonecraft, named “Crow's Nest”. Since our school is situated on what was the Berry Estate, it seemed right to name one of our houses after Berry.

I can't help but note that these particulars contain some errors of fact and lack a certain clarity. Much can be said about Berry but he was a large landholder both at North Sydney and the South Coast (the town of Berry takes his name). Several streets at North Sydney are named after him or members of his family. “Crow's Nest House” was the name of Wollstonecraft's house atop the hill.

BOARD HOUSE 

Commemorates Peter Board, who outlined a complete scheme for Secondary School Education. Later, as Minister for Education, he instituted the High School System. 

Peter Board was never Minister for Education but Under-Secretary of the Education Department. He was instrumental in establishing the “second tier” of public High Schools (of which NSGHS was one) from about 1912. The “first tier” of High Schools opened in 1883-84. Four of the original eight schools had closed by the late 1890s. Board abolished school fees, established the Leaving Certificate with matriculation status and laid out the course structure that remained until the Wyndham scheme began in 1962. He or his wife attended many NSGHS Speech Days.

ELLIOTT HOUSE

Was also named in honour of a prominent figure in the world of education. He was W.J. Elliott, the Chief-Inspector of Secondary Schools from 1912 until 1931.

Inspector Elliott was apparently very supportive of NSGHS in its early years and fought hard for resources.

GROSSMAN HOUSE

Was named after Miss Grossman, the first headmistress of the school. She was appointed to the position in 1914 and resigned in 1923. She died in 1924.

REID HOUSE

Honours Sir George H. Reid. He was admitted to the N.S.W. Bar in 1879 and began his political career a year later when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly by East Sydney. He became Minister for Public Instruction, and introduced the system of public secondary education which is at present being replaced by the Wyndham Scheme. Chosen to fill Parkes's place as the leader of the Opposition, Reid became Premier in 1894 and retained that position until 1899. He retired from Australian politics in 1908 and accepted the post of High Commissioner in London, where he died in 1918.”

George Reid, as Minister for Public Instruction under Parkes introduced the Education Act of 1880, which led to the first High Schools opening in 1883-84. He was Prime Minister in I think 1904 to 1905.

 

Elza Chapman

Old Girls Union

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