Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Berwick High School - foundation years

Berwick High School (now called Berwick Secondary College) opened on February 1 1977, with 110 students. Until the School opened, local children had to travel outside the town to attend a State High School. Early on, Dandenong High School, which was opened in 1919, was the High School Berwick children would have attended until a clutch of new High Schools were opened in the 1960s and 1970s. When Doveton High opened in 1960 over half of the students came from the surrounding area of Hallam, Narre Warren, Berwick, Beaconsfield, Clyde and Cranbourne. Hallam High opened in 1971, Pakenham High in 1967 and Cranbourne High in 1976. Koo-Wee-Rup High started in 1957, even though it was Higher Elementary School from 1953.

These two photographs show the construction of Berwick High School.
There was a lot of Community effort to have the High School established - the first public meeting to press for the establishment of a Secondary School in Berwick took place on September 16 1974. Nearly a year later on August 14 1975 the inaugural meeting of the Planning Association for the School was held. The vacancy for a Principal was advertised in the Education Gazette on April 7 1976 and in September of that year the foundation Principal, Roy Fraser, was appointed. Mr Fraser stayed until the end of 1979. The first issue of the School Magazine explains the meaning of the School’s motto Crescam which comes from the Latin - and can mean I shall grow, I shall prosper, or I shall increase, a positive motto for a new School. The School did grow and prosper and in 1981 there were over 700 students and the first Year 11 classes were held. 1982 saw the introduction of the first Year 12 classes.

The cover of the first School Magazine of 1977. The name of the magazine was taken from the School motto.

The School logo is the tea-tree flower. This was suggested by Carmel Sierakowski, the Librarian, and the artwork was designed by Julie Misso, who was the Craft and Graphic Communication teacher. The idea for the tea-tree came from Manuka Road, the location of the School, as the Manuka is a variety of tea-tea.
These photographs (above), taken from the School magazine, show the foundation staff from 1977. Top photograph (Back Row) Carole Bullock, Sheila Holden, Arwin Hurwitz, Sue Ryan, Laurie Cantwell, Vicki Hill, Alex Thals, Robert Hansen. (Front Row) Julie Misso, Barbara Lipscombe, Roy Fraser, Mr Norm Baldwin, Mrs C. Sierakowski. The staff in the bottom photograph are Alex Thals, Sue Ryan and Elizabeth Drake.
This is Form 7a, from 1977, the School's Foundation Year.

If you attended a High School, in the 1970s and early 1980s, then your School magazine probably looked like the early Berwick High School magazines. I went to Koo-Wee-Rup High in the 1970s and we had the same type of hand drawn graphics and illustrations and student designed covers, they have a lot more character than some of the current School magazines. The covers for the 1979 and 1981 Crescam Chronicles are shown here.

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