LOCATION: Casterton, South-West Victoria, Australia

Casterton High School Reunion

Golden Jubilee : 26th & 27th March, 2005

Celebrating 50 years since Casterton High School took occupancy of the present site at 27 Mt.Gambier Road, Casterton.

The organising committee have decided on activities for both the Saturday and Sunday, allowing Good Friday and Easter Monday for travel and family commitments.

Re-enactment of the "move" from the State School to current site; formal speeches etc; fair like activities; a Ball and lots of other activities have already been organised. An information pack is being prepared for distribution to interested parties in the near future.

Program Details (July 2004, draft)

Casterton High School 1959 Staff & Students

A Brief History of Casterton High School

In February 1953, as a result of moves made by the Committee under the chairmanship of Dr A.H. MILLIKAN, Casterton HES (Higher Elementary School) became Casterton HS. The inaugural assembly was held in the Casterton Town Hall on 18th of June 1953, the guest of honour being the Minister for Education, the Hon. A.E. SHEPHERD, MLA, and the Director of Education, Major General RAMSAY. Under HM G. McCrae WILLIAMSON, Casterton High still occupied the premises of the seven room Casterton HES, in the grounds of the Primary School. These buildings were a collection of school rooms - the oldest built 100 years ago - which had been brought in from around the district. Total enrolment then was 173, including 3 matriculation, 8 leaving and 23 intermediate certificate pupils. The original staff consisted of nine teachers. Night classes were made available in dressmaking, accountancy and bookkeeping and typewriting and shorthand. The first Advisory Council took office on 15th of July 1953 with Dr. A.H. MILLIKAN as President and G. McCrae WILLIAMSON, Secretary. In the same year a Ladies Auxiliary was formed with Mrs J.R. NEWTON as President and Mrs L. COXON as Secretary.

On Thursday 7th of July 1956 the pupils of Casterton HS left the old premises in McPherson St, 'a procession of decorated cars, buses, and old bicycles which proceeded up Henty St' to the site of the newly erected HS in Mt Gambier Rd. The new building, consisting of ten rooms, was officially opened by the Minister for Education, the Hon. J.S. BLOOMFIELD MLA, on 28th of September 1956. The year 1956 was a memorable year for Casterton; the school received A class status; a library classroom was opened and teacher-librarian appointed; under the sponsorship of the Casterton Rotary the school visited Melbourne for the XVI Olympic Games; and an Ex-Students' association was formed. During the Head Mastership of T.M. PALMER (1957-58) enrolment passed 250 - partly owing to the closing down of central classes at Coleraine - and the school was reclassified as Class 1. J.J. GAFFNEY became HM in 1959. By 1961 enrolment was 400, the teaching staff had grown to nineteen and the number of buses conveying pupils had increased to nine. Bilston House and Robertson House were added to the original Mitchell House and Henty House. Serious over-crowding made necessary, in 1960, the erection of the second stage of the buildings. These comprised a domestic arts wing, some annexes, and a general purpose class room. The original structure was extended by adding a library, and a general purpose converted into a second science room. This second section of Casterton High was officially opened on Friday 27th of October 1961, by the Hon J.S. BLOOMFIELD MLA, Minister of Education. The following year three portable classrooms were requested to cope with increasing numbers.

Parents and friends of the school have been enthusiastic in their efforts to improve facilities: tennis courts, cricket pitches, sports ovals, safety bus terminals, trees and shrubs, and the canteen are evidence of their persistent work. As enrolment increased to 480 in 1963, further extension of the school was necessary and work began in 1964 on subject rooms for music, commercial subjects, English, two art rooms, woodwork room and mechanical drawing room, as well as a physical education centre. The third section was also opened officially by the Hon. J.S. BLOOMFIELD, MLA Minister of Education on Thursday, 30th of September 1965. B.S. HANNAN, a member of the original staff, had become HM in 1964. The following year the school was upgraded to 'Special' class with L. BARBERIS, Principal. In 1968 the school achieved further Class A status and was granted the right to conduct internal Leaving Certificate examinations. The year 1969, however, saw perhaps the most drastic change. Encouraged by the Education Department to make school life more meaningful and to cater for individual differences, a system of General Studies was introduced in Forms 1 and 11 together with a radically new system of reporting in Forms 1 - 1V. The later was aimed at eliminating the concept of 'failing' amongst pupils.

Source: "Vision & Realisation", Vol 2, Education Department of Victoria.

Casterton Secondary College website

This link takes you to the current website for Casterton Secondary College which is a 7-12 Secondary College with a 2004 student population of approximately 210.