21 February 2011

IGS has proud history

THE gaps in the history of Queensland's oldest secondary school are gradually being filled.

Sophie Church invites Ipswich Grammar School's Old Boys to tell their school tales.

THE gaps in the history of Queensland's oldest secondary school are gradually being filled.

Ipswich Grammar School (IGS) commissioned historian Sophie Church last May to research more of its history for a book to be launched during its 150-year celebrations in 2013.

"This school is significant to so many people," Mrs Church said.

"I'm looking at themes, like boys' impressions of coming to the school.

"Hopefully they'll make the book more readable, immediate and bring it to life.

"I've done up a questionnaire that I've sent out."

Mrs Church said IGS pioneered education in Queensland.

"The school was ahead of its time in a number of ways," she said.

"Maths and science was the focus of education.

"I spoke to a 96-year-old who hated being here, but he thinks now that it was the best thing that ever happened to him and he holds the school in high regard.

"He was in bomber command. A lot of IGS boys were in the RAAF."

Top achievers among the Old Boys and staff include John Coates, former chief of the Australian Army, and former Premier and Chief Justice of Queensland, Sir Samuel Griffith, who applied for the headmastership in 1863 at the age of 18.

"The book will be a compre- hensive account of the school's 150-year history with a focus on eyewitness accounts drawn from interviews with Old Boys, comments in school magazines and early archival documents," Mrs Church said.

IGS has grown from an enrolment of 16 students in 1863 to 1170 today.

Contributors wanting to share memories, memorabilia or documents should contact Mrs Church on 3813 9600 or email


Old boy Sydney Jones was a member of Mawson's 1912 Antarctic expedition.

The school tower was used as a spotting post for enemy aircraft during WWII.

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