Christensen and Drewe Eras

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The Christensen (1946-1949) and Drewe (1950-1964) Eras

In 1946 the Methodist Church passed the school to the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) to administer and Miss Ellen Christensen was appointed to the Headship.  Around this time, enrolments stood at 120 pupils.  During her four years as Principal, Miss Christensen introduced the College Song and College Hymn, both of which continue to be sung on a weekly basis, and also introduced the new “biscuit” sports uniform, considered rather radical at the time.  In her first year, two school houses, Wesley and Whitfield were established.  The school also began to participate regularly in sporting events with Somerville House and Clayfield College.  The Post-Junior course was established, according to Miss Christensen, “to fit girls for efficient and gracious lives in their own homes”.  This course involved an extra year of study after the Junior Year of practical subjects such as dress making, flower arranging and etiquette.

Mrs Millicent Drewe was appointed Headmistress in 1950.  In 1951, after travelling to England and seeing school girls wearing check ginghams in summer, Mrs Drewe stated that it “was appalling to come back and see Brisbane girls still wearing hot navy tunics and ties”.  As a result, she introduced the College’s pink check summer uniform, the style of which was rather radical at the time.

By 1956 the school roll was 150 with twenty-seven candidates for the Junior Public Examination.  In 1957, the name was changed to Moreton Bay College, to avoid confusion with the State High School system and to be more in keeping with the College names of the other PMSA schools.  By 1959, due to an increase in enrolments, a third house, Alison Greene, was established.  In that year, the five senior students were the first cohort to complete their Senior Public Examinations.  One of these students was the former Governor-General, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce (nee Strachan).

The College Roll in the early sixties hovered around the 180 mark, as the facilities were strictly limited and no more could be accommodated. The site was only one and a quarter acres and this was a period of great expansion in numbers in the other QGSSSA (then known as GPS) girls' schools. Moreton Bay College remained a small school and found it harder to meet growing commitments in an ever-expanding QGSSSA competition.

In 1960, the Post Junior course was moved into the newly acquired Moreton House, a fine site a mile or so away at Wynnum North.  At Mrs Drewe’s suggestion that the school needed to expand, in 1961 the PMSA purchased land on Manly Road for a new campus.  The move to this site never eventuated, but in 2004, it became the campus of Moreton Bay Boys’ College.

1964 saw a change in the structure of education in Queensland with Year 8, not Year 9, becoming the first year of secondary school.  Acting Principal, Mrs Viola Owen-Winchester said: “Changes are being made in curricula and methods to meet the changing conditions created by the opening of school doors wider and wider to admit more and more pupils of varying types and needs.  What a tremendous challenge this is.  The future promises to become an exciting adventure for us all.”

In this year, Mrs Drewe married and resigned from her position as Principal.  Mrs Winchester filled the position of Acting Principal for the rest of the year, and was appointed Principal from 1965.

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