What a weekend!


What a weekend!

AN estimated 4000 past and present students and staff talked themselves hoarse during the Leongatha High/Tech/Secondary College centenary celebrations.
The weekend, variously described as “wonderful”, “fantastic”, “absolutely brilliant” and “amazing”, began with the information late last week that tender documents will go out for the final $10 million stage of rebuilding.
College principal Brett Windsor described that news as a symbolic start to the anniversary.
He said the $10m would pay for new Year 7 to 9 and Year 10 to 12 centres, an arts building and refurbishment of the staff centre which will include a combined primary and secondary school administration hub.
Mr Windsor, who had all but lost his voice, said the centenary “was absolutely fantastic”.
“There was such a positive atmosphere.
“It got off to a great start with the visit by the Governor (Alex Chernov) on Friday. On Saturday, we were overwhelmed with people – there were 2500 or more. There were 1000 or more on Sunday and around 4000 for the weekend.
“Local businesses noticed how busy things were. It was terrific.”
The history book From Inkwells to Internet sold out and a reprint is underway.
Written by former teacher Lyn Skillern, the book was launched on Saturday by one of her former pupils Libby Roughead, an associate professor at Adelaide University.
There were multitude weekend highlights.
John and Dick Mesley, whose grandfather Arthur Mesley founded the school, presented a dress sword belonging to their father, Rear Admiral Jack Mesley RAN, as a gift to the secondary college. They, in turn, were given a copy of a video of the opening of Leongatha’s Memorial Hall, featuring their grandfather.
They were accompanied by Arthur Mesley’s daughter Anne Garrett, who delighted in catching up with former classmate Mavis Wightman, the most senior past student at the celebrations.
Three hundred or more packed into the stunningly decorated Memorial Hall for Saturday night’s dinner, during which past school captain Professor Ivan Caple urged everyone to “raise the roof” as he led the crowd in a war cry, popular in days gone by. Four hundred more attended a cabaret in Mesley Hall.
There were musical performances by past and present students throughout the weekend and gatherings in pubs and restaurants.
Sunday ended with the burying of a time capsule and rendition of Auld Lang Syne, accompanied by past and present musicians conducted by former music teacher Andrew Dale.
Elaine Snell, whose husband Ian is a past principal of the secondary college, complimented organisers, saying the weekend was “a credit to all the work that had been put in by so many over two to three years”.
Governor kicks off
At an event reflecting on the past, the Victorian Governor spoke to Leongatha Secondary College students about their futures at the official opening of the school’s centenary celebrations last Friday.
With the school’s time capsule originally buried in 1972 opened for the celebrations, the Honourable Alex Chernov encouraged students to consider their own lives 40 years from now.
“First, can I suggest that you have unqualified faith in yourselves and your ability to achieve your goal,” he said.
“The fact that you’re now in one of the better high schools in the state, and you’ve gotten as far as you have, means that you’ll definitely have the ability to undertake the hard work to achieve your goal.”
The Governor then presented the secondary college’s principal Mr Windsor with his own contribution to the new time capsule, adding “I won’t be back to have a look at it!”
Mr Chernov said it was a pleasure to visit the school, and he was honoured to officially open the centenary.
Mr Windsor said the opening had occurred in conjunction with a phone call from the Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan that morning, informing him the tendered documents had gone out to begin construction of the new school buildings.
The Governor was also presented with a copy of the centenary book.
Following the ceremony, Mr Chernov planted a seedling taken from the oak tree on the former high school campus, which was originally planted around the same time the school opened a hundred years ago.
Mr Windsor said he hoped the new tree would grow to survive the school’s 200 year

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Posted by on May 1 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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