Wednesday, 10 August 1910 marked the official opening of the first section of the Main Building at The Glennie Memorial School by Archbishop Donaldson, thus bringing to reality the dream of Benjamin Glennie to found an institution for the education of girls in Toowoomba.
In his official address, the Archbishop “dwelt on the school objectives, stressing educational standards, moral tone and atmosphere and the sound basis necessary for religious teaching”. Archdeacon Glennie’s dream and his practical planning had ensured reality.
The building was situated in an open paddock which was gradually transformed with the planting of trees and landscaping. Conditions were spartan with little heating and no electricity. Students had to rise each morning at 5:20am, have a cold morning bath and take early morning exercise for 30 minutes no matter what the weather. They walked everywhere, to church at St. James and, on occasion, as far as Table Top mountain.
The date, 10 August has become the date for the annual celebration of Founder’s Day, although in those early years it was known as Consecration Day.
In 2019, following the Eucharist Service, the current Glennie girls had a picnic lunch on the grounds to celebrate. In the past, when the school was much smaller, the whole school would head off to hold their picnic at Spring Bluff, Picnic Point or Hell Hole. From about 1913, they were taken to their picnic by horse-drawn carriage, over dirt tracks, past farms where there were few houses, only bush.
The photos show the girls at various picnic spots over the years and they also show how the girls loved to be out in the bush, enjoying their picnic. I hope the girls enjoyed their picnic lunch this week, as much as the girls celebrating Founder’s Day in the past.
(Ref: Henderson, Christine 2000 The Glennie: a work of faith)
Mrs Noeleen Fleming
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