On 22 April 2017 the Rockhampton Girls Grammar School Museum, located in the historic Paterson House, was officially opened as part of our 125 year celebrations.
Past Principal, Christine Hills welcomed guests as Bella Voce performed prior to introducing past staff member and driving force Mark Avery, who spoke about the Museum and the associated website. Member for Capricornia and 'Old Girl', Michelle Landry cut the ribbon and Councillor Drew Wickerson baked an amazing replica Paterson House cake. Heritage volunteers of the time, Bev (also past Principal) and John Mouritz were present to cut the cake before guests indulged with tea and coffee.
The Museum continues to be improved after the Grand Opening with the help of three wonderful volunteers who, alongside Alumni Liaison Officer Kim Dixon, graciously give up their time every Wednesday morning. This week we get to know these wonderful ladies:
Margaret Black (nee Clark)
Margaret and her family has had a connection with the Rockhampton Girls Grammar School since 1892, when her grandmother and grandmother's distant cousin, Connie, also her best friend for life, became first day pupils.
In 1929 Margaret's mother and father's sister enrolled. Her mother was at the school for two years, while her aunt stayed for four and then trained as a teacher, while another aunt attended for two years from 1938. One of the two aunts, both of which had the first initial M, inscribed her name on one of the desks which is now in the museum. As Margaret's initial is also M, she has been incorrectly attributed to the inscription.
Margaret attended Rockhampton Girls Grammar School from 1953-1956. Her senior class of 14 students was the largest senior cohort until then.
Her sisters started at the school in 1963 and 1967 respectively and each remained for five years. Margaret's nieces enrolled in 1982 and 1989 and also attended for five years. They were fourth generation students. Unfortunately, everyone who is family and eligible to attend Rockhampton Girls Grammar live away from Central Queensland so, for now, the line has ceased.
Lynne Priem (nee Marsh)
Lynne and her family, too, have a long connection with Rockhampton Girls Grammar School with her maternal grandmother, Annie Wilson, being part of the first cohort of students to attend when the school opened in 1892.
Lynne's mother, Elsie Coates and aunts, Shirley and Doris also attended Rockhampton Girls Grammar School.
Lynne (1964 -1966) and her sisters Helen (1957 - 1958) and Julie (1956 - 1959) became third generation Girls Grammar girls.
Both mum (Elsie) and sister (Julie) also taught at the school.
Lynne's daughter, Emma Winchester was a fourth generation Girls Grammar girl along with her nieces, Helen's daughters, Kim Dixon and Hallie Barron who was the inaugural Prue McKeague Prefect. Julie's daughter Kalimna also attended for a short time.
Lynne's granddaughter, Elizabeth attended Prep in 2019 but sadly moved to Brisbane at the end of that year.
The connections don't stop there, with Lynne's Aunty Shirley (nee Coates) marrying Ted Hockings, the son of the School's architect Edwin Morton Hockings.
Jill, fellow volunteer, is related to Lynne via marriage with her sister Helen marrying Jill's brother Roddy Bredhauer.
Jill is one of four Bredhauer sisters who attended Rockhampton Girls Grammar School in the 1950s - 1960s: Wendy Harris (1958 -1961), Maxine Flemming (1961 - 1964) and Linda Watts (1962 - 1966).
Jill is also related to Lynne via marriage as Jill's brother Roddy Bredhauer married Lynne's sister Helen, which makes both Jill and Lynne Aunty's to our Alumni Liaison Officer, Kim Dixon and 'Old Girl" Hallie Barron (Helen and Roddy's daughters).
We thank these wonderful ladies for the time and knowledge they dedicate to the ongoing improvements to the Museum.