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Old Canberran’s Old Photos – Part 9 – The original Canberra High

By johnboy - 18 March 2009 22

[First filed: March 17, 2009 @ 10:48]

This is the ninth part of a series of photographs taken by RiotACT reader Old Canberran on his Kodak Box Brownie from 1948.

This one came in with the following note:

    Canberra High School was one school I didn’t attend but I know in 1954 I was in the footy team that stopped their unbroken run of wins. It was the only high school on the north side for many years and Telopea was the only public high on the South side.

These days it’s the School of Art in the ANU.


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22 Responses to
Old Canberran’s Old Photos – Part 9 – The original Canberra High
old canberran 5:56 pm 17 Mar 09

Ricci, it was partly due to the hockey club name that made me decide on my user name. I used to play for St Pats and I had some good friends in the Old Canberrans club. Coincidentally I used to ride my bike from Braddon to the Boys Grammar 5 days a week. Winter was the worst time as I used to get chillblains on my ears. Kept me fit though.

realityskin 3:10 pm 17 Mar 09

Ok, that’s pretty cool.

ricci 3:03 pm 17 Mar 09

Thanks for the photos Old Canberran (I used to be in the hockey club called that). Canberra High stopped being a selective high school soon after I started there. Maybe there was a connection. That would mean the selective system finished in the late 1950’s.

Going to Canberra High meant riding a pushbike each school day from Red Hill, opposite the Boys Grammar School, in rain, sun, frost or snow. I could have walked to Telopea Park School as I did in Primary School! My younger brothers and sister went to Telopea. We all completed university education and the different schools we went to did not seem to affect our relative performances. If anything my siblings did better than me.

old canberran 2:02 pm 17 Mar 09

ant said :

In the olden days, when these were the only two high schools in Canberra, primary schools tended to stream students into one or the other. The kids who seemed likely to go to uni, or were literate, went to Canberra High, and the ones the teachers reckoned would go into trades or some other manual field went to Telopea.

I’m not sure at what point that changed mind you, and this might have been a bit earlier than the mid 50s.

That pretty much sums it up, Ant, and that’s what led to the Canberra High kids getting a reputation for being up themselves. There were, of course other secondary schools such as St Christophers, the girls and boys Grammar Schools and Queanbeyan High. St Eddies came along in 1954 but it wasn’t until the NCDC started in 1957 that schools started appearing in the burbs.

The planners rule of thumb was that each suburb had a primary school and every four suburbs had a high school. As the suburbs aged of course, the primary schools closed and became something else. Then the same thing happened to the high schools. Dickson, Downer, Hackett and Watson are classic examples of this evolution. Nowadays those suburbs are probably regenerating with younger families living there once again.

Thanks for the comments about my pics, by the way. Unfortunately I only have a few left of that era.

vg 1:00 pm 17 Mar 09

Brilliant pictures, thank you

Beserk Keyboard Warr 12:35 pm 17 Mar 09

Yep. I hope there’s plenty more pics where dem came from OC.

Holden Caulfield 12:19 pm 17 Mar 09

Avy said :

These photos are a real highlight – thanks for posting them up!

Hear, hear.

Avy 12:11 pm 17 Mar 09

These photos are a real highlight – thanks for posting them up!

johnboy 11:54 am 17 Mar 09

JB keeps using the official embed code provided for this purpose. Picassa seems to be having a brain fade right now.

Skidbladnir 11:51 am 17 Mar 09

Jb keeps leaving the ?feat=embedwebsite on his link.
Try http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mV5xA3hMN_p8Z9q_rCkKAw

p1 11:32 am 17 Mar 09

The link to the bigger picture doesn’t work for me 🙁

Nice photo though, thanks again.

AngryHenry 11:22 am 17 Mar 09

caf said :

Gotta love that Art Deco.

It rules… If only Canberra was more like Rapture.

Thumper 11:21 am 17 Mar 09

Nothing wrong with art deco…

caf 11:17 am 17 Mar 09

Gotta love that Art Deco.

ant 10:52 am 17 Mar 09

In the olden days, when these were the only two high schools in Canberra, primary schools tended to stream students into one or the other. The kids who seemed likely to go to uni, or were literate, went to Canberra High, and the ones the teachers reckoned would go into trades or some other manual field went to Telopea.

I’m not sure at what point that changed mind you, and this might have been a bit earlier than the mid 50s.

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