History of Gladstone High School
In 1907, an 8th grade class was organised at Gladstone Primary School for those looking for further education, this class was titled "The Gladstone Continuation Class". The class began with an enrolment of only 18, but as word got around, more parents of the district had stronger interests in the class and it soon grew to 30 pupils within a short period of time. It wasn't long until the school was referred to as the "Gladstone District High School", and the Headmaster of the time, Mr Luke, along with his staff said that the school carried the pupil from kindergarten to University.
During the years of the Second World War, the Japanese had threatened Northern Australia, many air-raid trenches were dug in March 1942. It took 70 - 80 men to complete this job, but in 1945 they were filled in and converted into playing fields for the school. When the war ended on August 15th 1945, the town celebrated with marching to the town's flag-pole with singing and cheering by students alike. The headmaster called for an early dismissal of 10:30am that day to celebrate a special holiday.
Badge and Motto
In 1914, the school badge and motto were introduced:
Faber est quisque fortunae suae
(Every person is the carver of his own destiny).
The new Gladstone High School
The 1970's brought along the biggest changes for Gladstone High School. 1972 was the year that the new school was erected, and during that year the school Headmaster gave many students buckets to go stone-picking along the new grounds. Matriculation, or fifth year, was introduced in 1972.
New furniture and fittings arrived in the first term of the 1973, and most of which seemed unusual looking to the students, such as oddly shaped tables, colourful pin-up boards etcetera, the equipment of the 1970's. The older students were required to unload trucks and use their 'muscle power', all remaining students stayed home during the change of location.
The first houses of Gladstone High School occurred in 1927. At the time, there was a total school attendance of 48 pupils, 30 boys and 18 girls. For the main purpose of sport, attendance and work done at the school, to institute some form of intra-school competition, the students were organised into two groups. These "teams" were soon given names, Oswald and Sullivan. The house captains were Ronald Brechin (Oswald) and Barry Barclay (Sullivan). Each team was appointed with a team colour, Oswald house with blue, and Sullivan white.
The Inspector's Report of April 16th, 1927 states:
"A special feature this year is the formation of two houses (Sullivan and Oswald) named after a returned V.C. and George Oswald, the second Headmaster of the school, who was killed at the front."
As competition got under way, the Houses each scored 10 points in tennis, but Oswald left Sullivan standing in the cricket, with a winning score of 20 to Nil. Sullivan won the academic side with 39 to 31, and with equal attendance of 34 to finish up.
The first house shield was donated by Mr F.C. Grubb on April 27th 1927, initially won by the Sullivan house in Term 2, but changed hands in Term 3 with Oswald stealing the shield, thus leading the competition for 1927, Oswald.
With student numbers ever increasing at Gladstone High School after the second world war, managing the two existing houses was proving difficult, it wasn't long until a third house was put into place with the name of Richards, in recognition of Mr. C.A. Richards, a previous Assistant in charge of Gladstone High, Inspector of the school, and his name also being on the school's Roll of Honour.
With student numbers now climaxing to above 160, it seemed necessary to introduce yet another house, this time in the name of Mr. Harold Gale. This fourth house 'Gale' began operation in 1967 with its first captains being Ross Kirby and Wendy Bowman, later combining the two houses (Richards & Gale) back to only 3 houses for Gladstone High. Those three houses (Oswald, Sullivan, & Richards/Gale) still remain in use to this very day.