Eltham High School | The Fifties – A New Name

The Fifties - A New Name.

Snapshots of a School with a New Name.


  • 1950 – 1951   Mr. J. L. Shannon
  • 1952 – 1955   Mr. H. J. Moody
  • 1956 – 1960   Mr. H. H. Richards


1950Saw the birth of Eltham High School
1951A new school badge featuring motto "Deeds Count" was introduced
1952A new school blazer was introduced
1953The Right Hon. R. G. Menzies visited school and addressed students
1954Electricity was connected to the school
1955Work on new school buildings commenced
1956Thirteen students in the first Matriculation class
1957The school library found a proper home in Room 10
1958The Annual Speech Night was held in the new school hall
1959Number of staff had doubled since 1950

Eltham High School – The Fifties.

In 1950 Eltham High School was born, and to appreciate what the High School achieved in it first ten years, the achievements must be seen against continual overcrowding and difficult conditions. It had a feeder area that was far too large for its facilities.

On commencement, the High School was used by students as far away as Fairfield and Kinglake. Mr. Shannon, Head Master, reported on the problems of overcrowding, “The attendance increased to 300 and lack of accommodation compelled us to use the two shelter sheds. The arrival of the army hut was added to the present building and extra accommodation was provided.” The completion of a pre-fabricated aluminium classroom toward the end of 1950 was also gained, but once again overcrowding was evident in 1951, with classes either having to work in the corridors or squeeze into the bookstall. The completion of a second pre-fab in 1952 was generally not only late in arriving, but inadequate to solve the problems.

Electricity was connected to the school in March 1954. After waiting for 25 years, parents and friends of the school came to the “switching on” ceremony performed by Mr. E. Morrissey, M.L.A. for Mernda, and a member of the school Advisory Council, and lights were switched on in various parts of the school building.

A major building program was commenced on 27th July 1955. The additions to the school were extensive, to say the least; they were to include an assembly hall, gymnasium, cafeteria, new shelter sheds and bicycle shed, as well as many additional classrooms. The rooms were to include, drama, music, prefects rooms and boys and girls common rooms. During winter the building program made school life difficult for both staff and students often walking planks provided by the builders, to travel from one class to the next over mud and puddles. Many of the teachers and students worked hard to save trees that were in the path of the new buildings. Finally, the school was completed.

Changes as a New High School.

On becoming a High School in 1950, a fifth year class (Leaving Certificate) was offered for the first time. The first Eltham High School ex- student to graduate from a university was John Rodrick, who gained his Bachelor of Science degree at Melbourne University in 1955.

The school uniform continued through this period. In 1952, the new school blazer was introduced, tailor made by Mr. Benjamin of Melbourne. The school also adopted new colours in the uniform–blue, yellow and red.

Sport played an important part in the life of the school. Students were able to participate in house and inter-school competitions and special annual matches against Lilydale and Albury High Schools.

Eltham High School | The Fifties – A New Name

Eltham High School | The Fifties – A New Name

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