Winchester Era


Mrs Viola Owen-Winchester was appointed Principal in 1965.  Shortly after her appointment, the rural recession hit hard at what was essentially a boarding school with a small day girl contingent.  Due to falling enrolment numbers in the early 1970s, Moreton Bay College withdrew from QGSSSA sport on the understanding that it could return when numbers were sufficiently large.  At the same time, rather ironically, the decades-old biscuit sports uniform was replaced by the new tartan sports dress.

In 1975, with the roll down to 125, the PMSA decided to close the College.

Although this decision was rescinded soon after, great damage was done.  Parents withdrew their girls, teachers left and in 1976 enrolments had fallen to 65.  In this year, the third and most recently established house, Alison Greene, was removed from the house system.

The faith of those who remained during these difficult times was staunch indeed and none were stauncher than Mrs Winchester who battled, with the aid of the Parents and Friends, to keep the College open. Eventually, the Uniting Church assumed responsibility for the College and set up a new Board with a strong local content, under the Chairmanship of Mr John Mason. Under Letters Patent, issued in August 1979, Moreton Bay College was reconstituted. In that year the roll stood at 116.

Mrs Winchester announced her retirement in 1979, and the Board announced the appointment of the school’s first male Principal for the following year.


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