Alice, Anne and Helah Greene founded the ‘Moreton Bay Girls’ High School’ in 1901
The Greene Era
1901 - 1945
In 1901 Miss Alice J Alison Greene and her sisters, Anne and Helah, founded the ‘Moreton Bay Girls’ High School’, as it was known at that time, in a building constructed by their father, Mr John Iley Greene. Its location was in the heart of Wynnum town, on Bay Terrace, bounded by Charlotte and Florence Streets. The first roll contained six boarders and twenty day scholars, both boys and girls, from kindergarten to high school age. Miss Greene was the first Headmistress of the College.
Around 1910, two younger sisters, Hilda and Elsie, joined the teaching staff after undertaking their teacher training in London. Miss Elsie primarily taught academic subjects, including mathematics and French.
Early in the school’s history, Miss Anne had established the music school, which Miss Alice J Alison Greene believed to be "the first, if not the only music school established in Queensland". Miss Hilda took over the running of the school upon her return from England, and its reputation grew, with pupils travelling from afar to attend the school. Along with attending to domestic duties, Miss Helah taught violin and cello in the music school.
By 1910, the school had become so well-known that a new wing was constructed to double the accommodation and provide a library. Two tennis courts were built on the adjoining property.
Around this time, Miss Anne departed for London to train in art at the South Kensington Art School, where she gained a prize for still life and a diploma and medal from the Royal Art Society. She later travelled to Paris to pursue her art, and also studied the work of Emile Jacques-Dalcrose, founder of eurhythmics. This form of stylised movement set to music was adopted at the school during one of Miss Anne's return visits to Queensland, and the first display of eurythmics in Queensland was observed by Queensland Governor Sir Matthew Nathan in the 1920s.
An example of the Greenes’ demonstration of Christian service was the running of annual Indian Fetes from the 1920s to 1940s. Students wore Indian outfits, and all funds raised were sent to Christian missionaries in India, China and Abyssinia.
In 1943 Miss Alice J Alison Greene retired, and the following year the Greene family gifted the school to the Methodist Church in memory of their father. The Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) agreed to operate the school on behalf of the Methodist Church. Miss Elsie Greene served as Principal and Miss Hilda Greene remained in charge of the music school, and Miss Frances Craig (Principal of Somerville House) was appointed "consulting principal" by the PMSA.
In June 1945, Miss Elsie and Miss Hilda retired, bringing the Greene Era to an end. Miss Margery Popple served as acting headmistress for the remainder of the year.
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