Friday, 21 December 2007

Presbyterian Ladies' College, Goulburn, 1921-1970

The story of the Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Goulburn begins with the translation of the Rev George Tulloch from Charters Towers to Goulburn in 1916. Mr Tulloch showed an almost immediate interest in the establishment of a boarding college for Presbyterian children. Local and Assembly enthusiasm was subdued because of the country’s involvement in World War I. However, at war’s end, Mr Tulloch pursued the idea with greater vigour to such an extent that a submission presented in 1919 to the NSW Presbyterian Church’s Council of Education was received favourably.

By 1920, the property known as ‘Euthella’ was purchased for £4000. This property comprised a stately house and forty two acres of land in one of the finest positions in Goulburn overlooking the city and surrounding countryside. All haste was made to have the school in operation by February 1921. The old building had to be redecorated and repaired and new buildings had to be erected. It was also necessary to install electric light, provide a hot water system and connect the property with town gas and water supply and sewerage system. By the opening date the new kitchen was completed and the original house had been renovated and made ready for occupation by the principal and his family, members of staff (academic and domestic) and seventeen boarders.

The Council’s unanimous choice for principal was Walter Ramsay McNicoll BA, Dip Ed (Melb). McNicoll was a secondary teacher with the Victorian Department of Education and during the First World War was Director of Education in the AIF. By 1919 he commanded the 10th Brigade as Brigadier-General and had been created a Companion of the Bath and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George as well as being awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Classes commenced on Tuesday 22nd February 1921. There were seventeen boarders and twenty three day pupils. These students of the pioneer year were mainly from country properties. They had had little experience with schools and were achieving below the standard of education of their peers in other places. However, McNicoll praised their intelligence and reported that in the first year great progress had been made in overcoming any deficiencies in the pupils’ education.

Source: A Brief History of the Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Goulburn, NSW 1921-1970 by JD McFarlane (undated).

Did you attend PLC in Goulburn? Please share your memories.

22 comments:

  1. I sure did..... when it was Argyle College.It was a wondefful place to be and I have great memories of it.

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    1. I went there when it was Argyle too! And I knew a Jock. He was a local in Goulburn but if I recall he was also a boarder!

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  2. George Tulloch was my grandfather and his eldest daughter Marcia, my mother, was the first pupil enrolled.

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  3. PLC, then Argyle, was a great school. I loved the pine forest, pool and art room.

    judy

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    1. Check out www.facebook.com/theargyleschool

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    2. Me too! Visit www.facebook.com/theargyleschool

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  4. I was a student at PLC Goulburn in I think 1963 and 64. I had a great friend there by the name of Helen Rapheal who I believe used to arrange the old girls get together. I would very much like to get in touch with her.My name then was Robyn Connelly and I was from Goolgowi NSW.

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    1. Hi Robyn,

      I am sorry that I don't remember your name, but I was at PLC from 1956- 1966 so was there the same time as you, but in a lower grade. The last I heard about Helen was at a reunion at Wagga and she was then at PLC Croydon. Hope this helps. My name at the time was Narelle Catt.

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    2. Web browsing and came across this page. Helen Raphael was in my class 64-65. I am sorry to inform you that she died 3 or 4 years ago, I believe of cancer. My name was Libby Tong. Just had lunch with Toni MacLeod and Merrilee Clements.

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    3. Judy Scholfield here, ladies. Di Taylor is organising a reunion in Canberra this October and wants people from 63,64 and 65 (anyone else too). Can anyone reading this please reply to jascholfield@gmail.com

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  5. I use to go to Argyle in 1973 with Pippa Oreilly, Alison Barton Brown, Geoffrey Cox, Deborah Morrell. Id love to get some photos in that period. Rosie Johnston (nee wingrove)rosie@poloaustralia.com.au

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  6. I never went there but a girl (Jennifer Mansfield) used to get off our bus and go there (about 1963). Hard to explain but it always looked like a school should, the old building now reminds me of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Loved the pine forest too. Years later I used to run in the pine forests around Canberra - silence, just your feet and your breath....for a school to have that was wonderful. I miss Goulburn but can never go back.

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    1. I was Jennifer Mansfield and I attended PLC from 1956 to 1963. The bus originated from Marulan. It was a school of impressive buildings and extensive and attractive grounds, including a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool (only cleaned once a year for the swimming carnival) and pine trees. I had good friends there but was terrified of the sometimes bizarre approaches to discipline by some of the teachers.

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    2. Well hello Jennifer. Yes that is the bus and I was one of the last ones to get off it (and the first to get on for the homeward trip). I was always a runner and when I left school and lived in Goulburn I used to run through the PLC grounds down to the river. I still run. I did Vietnam in 1967 - 68 with an SAS Sqn.......even though it was only four years later school days were long gone by then. But for some reason I have always remembered that school and you getting off the bus and walking up the path......I had no idea that there would be an issue with discipline that could scare a young girl. As you say the place had extensive and attractive grounds.......I was never ever challenged when I ran through there..

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  7. My mother, Gwendoline Iverach & her sister Sheila Iverach were boarders at PLC. General McNicoll, & later Christina Bryant were the principals at the time. I was a boarder at PLC 1955 & 1956 when Jeanette Buckham became principal.

    Used to enjoy the early mornings studying in the pine forest!

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  8. I attended Argyle College asa boarder in 1973 & 74.

    It was a great school & boarding there wasa good experience.

    I remember Jock & geoffrey & the first formers.

    I still have my "Reflections" magazine for 1973 & 1974.

    Kind regards to all my friends from Argylle.

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  9. So who remembers Christin Bryant? What years was she headmistress?

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  10. I was there when Christine Bryant was Principal, Joan Graham vice principal. My name was Jean Molony and I was there in 1948,1949. I have may happy memories of being there, except for the cold winters, I suffered badly from chilblanes.

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  11. My name is Merran Fraser and I boarded at PLC in Goulburn in 1971; I was in form five at the time.
    The headmistress was Betty Snow IIRC, or perhaps she was the vice.
    Anyway I don't know why this site says the school only existed until 1970, as I was definitely there in 1971 and it was still PLC - it did not become the
    Argyle School until the year after I left.

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    1. Kerrie Knowlman13 April 2014 6:11 am

      Betty Snow was vice-principal and sports mistress, Mary Parsons was the principal. The school closed in 1975 and is now a residential TAFE college.

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  12. My name is Di Stuart ( Taylor) Further to Judy Scholfield's message posted today, a group of us are organising a PLC reunion lunch at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. The date is Saturday 11 October. While initially, we are focusing on the classes of 1963, 1964 and 1965, any one else is welcome. This is all being organised online, so I need your email address, the year your class finished (to make it simpler for those who left before their final year) and your all important maiden name.
    Please email me - diannestuart@bigpond.com
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

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  13. I was at PLC from 1958 to 1964. I had to repeat 3rd year so otherwise I would of finished in 1963. Started out with Sue Gander, Margaret Brideson, Anne Granger, Carol Egan, Penny Laver and Bev Skein and finished with Toni MacLeod, Sally Cummins, Sandra Brideson, Pam Hickman, Merrilee Clements and the list goes on. Best part was the pine forest, I could go up there and pretend I was somewhere else. Hoping to make it to the reunion in October.

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Please share your memories of life in the Southern Tablelands. If you require further information, please contact the Southern Tablelands Regional Library via email at library@strl.nsw.gov.au