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

johnboy 24 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
wishuwell wishuwell 8:11 am 19 Mar 09

old canberran always looking foward to your little expo’s. By the way I have a
six-20 model C
six-20 model D (with flash attachments)
No. 2A model C me thinks US market only
AK8 Hanimex hand held wind up movie camera (I know not a Brownie but still interesting).

Mr Evil Mr Evil 12:12 pm 18 Mar 09

Great photo of a lovely building.

Frank Hurley took a nice selection of shots of this building in the late-1930s which can be found on the National Library website.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 10:21 pm 17 Mar 09

I love those old cameras. And I’m so enjoying your photos Old Canberran.
One of my relatives attended Canberra High at the time it moved to Belconnen.

old canberran old canberran 10:07 pm 17 Mar 09

Unfortunately I don’t have it any more. We have moved house 5 times in the past 20 years and we have lightened our load each time we moved. Our old cameras were donated to the Canberra Photographic Society when we left Canberra as my wife was a member and a good amateur photographer.
There have been a lot of Box Brownies and mine was a 620C which has a close-up portrait slide over the lens. I found a photo on the net of one the same:-


They were an amazing bit of gear with a fixed lens which had a huge depth of field. The shutter was also fixed at an optimum speed which I think was 1/60th of a second. The film was on a roll and had 12 exposures in black and white. The prints are 2.25 by 3.25 inches and even after 60 years they have not faded as you can see from the scanned copies here.

Jivrashia Jivrashia 9:35 pm 17 Mar 09

To Old Canberran:

Could we please see your Kodak Box Brownie that you used to take these pictures (if it still exists)? I know one can find a picture of it on the internet (such as Wikipedia) but just want to see what yours looks like.

ant ant 8:54 pm 17 Mar 09

I was a member of Old Canberrans when we wore cotton hockey socks!

cubed cubed 8:08 pm 17 Mar 09

Couldn’t pick it till I read the blurb. The space around the building really changes its dynamics for me.

Thanks for sharing.

old canberran 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 realityskin 3:10 pm 17 Mar 09

Ok, that’s pretty cool.

ricci 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 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 vg 1:00 pm 17 Mar 09

Brilliant pictures, thank you

Beserk Keyboard Warrior Beserk Keyboard Warrior 12:35 pm 17 Mar 09

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

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:19 pm 17 Mar 09

Avy said :

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

Hear, hear.

Avy Avy 12:11 pm 17 Mar 09

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

johnboy 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 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 p1 11:32 am 17 Mar 09

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

Nice photo though, thanks again.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 11:22 am 17 Mar 09

caf said :

Gotta love that Art Deco.

It rules… If only Canberra was more like Rapture.

Thumper Thumper 11:21 am 17 Mar 09

Nothing wrong with art deco…

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