On 19 May, 118 years ago, the founders of Mentone Girls’ Grammar School, The Simpson family, opened a school with only six pupils who were taught in the dining room of their family home.
Today the School, now with more than 750 students across a large campus, held its annual Founder’s Day Service in commemoration of the leadership that has shaped the School over the past century. 15 Old Girls participated in the celebrations before joining Principal Fran Reddan for afternoon tea.
The eldest daughter in the Simpson family, Ms Effie Simpson, was the School’s first Principal. It is amazing to think that from those modest beginnings, the Simpson’s School became the thriving, vibrant school it is today.
Founders Day was a fantastic opportunity for the School to reflect on the journey of those who came before, and were instrumental in developing the Mentone Girls’ strong, positive and caring culture.
After a wonderful fashion parade of past school uniforms throughout the decades, current students were led through a history highlighting the strength and resilience of the School including the forced closure during the great influenza outbreak in 1919 and the difficulties experienced during the Great Depression, before the shift to a house that stood at 88 Beach Road, now the location of the Cobbalanna Senior College.
The School has seen continued growth under former Principal, Ms Prudence Lewty and subsequent Principals, before being led through significant progress and development under the guidance of our current Principal, Mrs Fran Reddan.
Principal Reddan said all students from Years 7 - 12 were to be congratulated on the way they conducted themselves at the Service, showing the utmost respect for the School’s long and rich heritage.
“A special thank you to Reverend Philippa Lohmeyer-Collins for the beautiful prayers, the Willow Singers for their performance of ‘How Far I’ll Go’, the Brass Ensemble with ‘See the Conquering Hero’ and Senior Orchestra with a rendition of ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’.