Founders’ Day celebrations 2021

Posted 7 May 2021 1:05pm

Founders’ Day is a significant date on the Canberra Girls Grammar School calendar. Over a number of days and events, we pause to remember the intrepid women, the Order of the Sisters of the Church, who were tasked with founding our School in 1926 (originally named St Gabriel’s and located in what is now known as Glebe Park), and the following year, at the location of our current boarding house on Melbourne Avenue.

On Saturday, 1 May we welcomed over 150 Grammarians back to the School for their reunions, many of which were delighted to visit after the postponement of last year’s event. President of the Grammarians’ Association, Lauren Sewell (2008), and Principal Anna Owen took delight in speaking to groups of past students and hearing their vivid memories of their time at the School. After a Chapel Service and refreshments in the Senior School Hall, year groups meandered around the campus, some led by current students and staff, others enjoying the company of teacher and Grammarian, Jane O’Brien (1972) and past teacher, Mr Richard Kent.

Monday’s Assembly at the Junior School was dedicated to the history of our School, starting with the story of Mother Emily and then looking at what has changed and other things that have stayed the same – such as the quality education and the belief in young people. Grammarian Asha Clementi (2017) spoke to the students about what it means to be a leader and individual empowerment.

The Generations Breakfast on Tuesday morning celebrated current students and their mothers, grandmothers and aunts – all who attended the School. It was particularly special to welcome two sets of multi-generational Grammarians: Chair of the School Board, Sue Hart, with her two daughters, Maddie Harley (2000) and Steph Foulkes (2005), and four grand-daughters, Eleanor Harley (Year 5), Catherine Harley (Year 1), Juliet Foulkes (Year 1) and Penny Foulkes; and Sue Gage (1963), her daughter Dimity Douglas (1988) and grand-daughter Chloe Douglas-Byrne (Year 9).

At the Senior School Assembly, our guest speaker was Lauren Sandeman (2014) commanded the room, speaking about overcoming adversity by using your voice and actions for change. We also welcomed CGGS record-holder Bronwyn McDonald (1979) to the stage to present medals and trophies to our Athletics age champions and record breakers.

To close the Founders’ Day celebrations, students gathered to share currant buns – a new tradition based on an old custom, established by our founders.

Thank you to everyone involved with bringing our Founders’ Day celebrations to life, in particular Clair Murray, Alumni and Development Officer.

Photo at top: Groups of Grammarians leaving the Founders’ Day Chapel Service on Saturday, 1 May 2021.

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