The Second Decade

The Christian Brothers emphasis on hard work was reflected in all aspects of school life, both in the classroom and on the sports field. 

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Records were kept for exam successes, sporting awards and school activities. Aquinas boys were constantly urged to try their hardest and give of their best in all their endeavours. Pride in the College and the promotion of school spirit were stressed regularly. There were large classes of over 50 students and teachers taught a wide range of subjects. Through the drive of the Third Principal (1973-8) , Brother Felix Ziesing, a science-trained Principal, the school introduced new programs in Manual Arts.

During this second decade the school continued to grow rapidly. Many new classrooms were built, including a primary library, computer room, and upgraded staff amenities. A staff of fifty teachers, including six brothers, administered the College made up of over 500 students from years 5-12.. There were no class preparation times allowed during the day for teachers.  Though government funding was increasing in this decade, the parish had the major burden of financing the school through these years. Aquinas was the only parish Secondary school for boys on the Gold Coast at this time. Star of the Sea had been conducted for girls by the Mercy Sisters since 1900.  Screen Shot 2019-09-25 at 8.50.37 am.png 

Six houses, eight cars and two luxury boats were drawn each year in the parish’s art unions.  For more than two decades from its commencement the school depended largely on parish support, supplemented by twice weekly bingo sessions. The Southport parish supported three schools and normal parish administration. In fact in 1984 the major decision to re-locate the parish centre to the current site near Aquinas was made, costing many millions of dollars to establish.

In 1979 Brother Gerard Massingham became the Fourth Principal of Aquinas College and though student numbers had been declining, the College under his leadership grew numerically and physically during this time. He remained at Aquinas College for six years from 1979  to 1984. Although Aquinas College was his first Principal appointment, he brought a strong sense of history and tradition to the College during its second decade. In his final year at Aquinas he wrote: ”Possibly the  most outstanding feature of Aquinas boys is their friendliness and simple good nature. I hope this remains a dominant trait.”  

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