One of the greatest moments for such a longstanding school like Mentone Girls’ Grammar is to be able to proudly welcome back the many incredible Old Girls who have walked these grounds. At our major School Reunion earlier this year, we were delighted to see the Class of 1966 reconnect and rekindle old friendships.
On Saturday 12 November, the group shared a special lunch at the Victoria Golf Club, reminiscing about their school days and catching up on exciting life events since they graduated from school 50 years ago. Education for women in particular during the 60s was a far different proposition. At Mentone Girls’ Grammar, the standard subjects were Maths, Science, Geography, History, Art, French and Sewing. Wednesday afternoons were designated for ‘Clubs’, where students from all year levels came together to do an activity of their choice, for example yoga or fencing.
Instead of having four terms spread out over two semesters, there were three ‘forms’ throughout the year which consisted of special elective subjects, as well as the standard subjects. These included Speech, Calligraphy, Biblical Studies, First Aid, Home Nursing (with the Red Cross ladies), Mothercraft and Latin. However, only students who planned on pursuing medicine were allowed to study Latin!
Students from all year levels also participated in Fashion Parades wearing the garments they created in Sewing class, which was held in the upper Science Labs that were originally an open space. You can see examples of these sewing garments in the Fergusson Theatre display windows located in the Years 7 & 8 Creative Learning Centre. There were no school camps back then, although there were optional trips to New Zealand and within Australia.
Indeed, it’s interesting to see how much we have progressed in culture, values and education since 1966. At the School Reunion in May, there was not much that the Old Girls recognised from their older – and much smaller – school many years ago; but the atmosphere, the sea breeze and the confident, happy young women that make Mentone Girls’ Grammar a remarkable place to be were ever present.
Thank you to the Old Girls of 66’ for keeping a special place in your hearts for us. We hope you continue to reconnect and catch-up on a regular basis.