Brisbane Grammar School - logo

News Feed

School Historian/Archivists Chris Price, Pamela Barnett and Vivien Harris with Headmaster Anthony Micallef at the Heritage Precinct Opening
  • Community
  • Events

“Artefacts preserve history, but the stories bring them to life.” Vivien Harris (former School Archivist) 

The doors have officially opened to the BGS Heritage Precinct at the Spring Hill campus.

The opening event welcomed many a familiar face, including current and former archivists, Headmasters, students, trustees, teachers and members of the Parents and Friends and Old Boys Associations. 

Chris Price, Pamela Barnett and Vivien Harris and Anthony Micallef

Located on the ground floor of E Block, the precinct exhibits an extensive collection of artefacts and records; literature, sporting awards and military honours, as well as interactive displays. You can even emboss a museum brochure with the original BGS school press.

The carefully curated space comprises three parts: a Reading and Research Room, School Museum and Archives Preparation Room. Designed for both students and community, the rooms are a spectacle of their own, having been restored as close as possible to their 1925 condition.

As you enter, the Reading Room greets you with inviting chairs and an illustrious array of literature about the School, about and by old boys.  

The Museum extends upon the Reading Room and contains meticulously labelled trophies, rowing oars, a travelling clock, bronze busts of foundation headmasters, and more. Among the best features of this room are the surprises found in the drawers and beyond the line of sight.  

The Heritage Museum is filled with displays, drawers, tall windows and original doors.

Notable features include, but are certainly not limited to: 

  • The original fireplace—not long ago dusty and full of debris—is now a splendid mantelpiece for dug up antiquities like an original Angus and Co. 1920 school ink bottle. It sits quaintly beneath a large screen which cycles through a sequence of poignant images, starting with an illustration of the first ever BGS site at Roma Street, 1869. 

  • The School Registers: (notably the heftiest books in the room) containing handwritten notes from the Headmasters about each student from the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

  • The ‘Our Place’ map: a unique visual representation of the Indigenous history of Spring Hill by proud Gunditjmara woman, Kaitlyn Boyer, and the bespoke essay that complements it, written by Old Boy and Jagera man Professor Benny Wilson, alongside Dr Ray Kerkhove.  

“The map and essay are some of the most important assets of the room, recognising that the history of the land goes back way beyond BGS and is absolutely imperative to acknowledge. It is a really special addition.” Chris Price (current School Historian and Archivist)  

Many of the items were painstakingly retrieved, transcribed or digitised, preserved and organised with great determination thanks to former School Archivists Pamela Barnett, Vivien Harris, and more recently Chris Price, BGS’ resident Archivist and Historian, who each saw the value of preservation.

Others have been generously donated by members of our community, such as our oldest sporting uniform. The football jersey was exchanged on the British Lions’ Tour of Australia in 1904 and found its way back to us for preservation thanks to the Pritchard family. 

Collectively, the pieces of this exhibit weave an extensive homage to the hard work and dedication that continue to form the future of Brisbane. 

We often hear sentiments about the BGS legacy. However, it is not until we take a moment to truly reflect on what this notion really encompasses that we realise the enormity of the School’s distinctive contribution to Queensland’s educational landscape.” Anthony Micallef (current Headmaster) 

Museum Cabinet

The first lessons in the museum have connected Year 11 Modern History students to the Indigenous history of the School site as part of their study of Indigenous land rights. Students have been able to observe the deeds, the fence and the medal with a lens to understand the concept of dispossession.  

The first reunion tour visit (1964) evoked a wonderful sense of connection between then and now, with Old Boys seeing their classrooms transformed into the now exquisite collection - many surprised to learn facts about the School’s history for the first time.  

You can't quite comprehend just how profoundly the School has contributed to the development of the greater city of Brisbane until you see it all come together like this... Hopefully it gives students a better understanding of where they have really come from... all of the hard work that has gone into it.” Pamela Barnett (former School Archivist) 

Mayre Fenwick, Chris Price, and Brett Walker-Davies stand for a photo in the Museum

The Heritage Precinct is now officially open to students throughout the week for history lessons and research. It is open to the community on Wednesdays from 11.30am-1.20pm and 3.00pm-4.00pm or by appointment. Please contact chris.price@brisbanegrammar.com for more information.   

  • History

BGS Publications

Click here to read our digital publications including Grammar News, The Grammarian and Journey.

Publications


Follow us on social media

 

Search

Latest News

Brisbane Grammar School Instagram