History of the School
Foundation of the School
Toowoomba Grammar School was founded in 1875 as a consequence of the Queensland Colonial Government’s Grammar Schools’ Act of 1860 by the subscriptions (in conjunction with a government subsidy) and the efforts of local citizens of vision. These were the graziers and farming families of the Darling Downs, and the professional and business people of Toowoomba. The original School building was completed in 1876, and the first boys attended on February 1, 1877.
“FIDELIS IN OMNIBUS”
(Faithful In All Things)
This enduring School Motto is attributed to Headmaster C C Corfe, who obtained permission from the Board of Trustees, in June 1895, to have a copperplate letterhead struck.
The Original 1875 Building
The original school building was begun in 1875 and completed in 1876. It was designed by Willoughby Powell in Domestic Gothic style. The ground floor was most recently remodelled in 2001 and contains the administrative offices, including the main reception area and the Headmaster’s Office. The first and second floors contain Mackintosh House. This House is named after Mr John Mackintosh, the first Headmaster of the School. Mr Mackintosh was tragically killed by a fall from his horse on 12 April 1879.The Old Hall was the original classroom and later the Assembly Hall and it is still one of the important rooms in the School as it displays so much of the School’s history.
The School Badge had its origins in April 1888 when Headmaster W A J Boyd had a pointed shield without chevrons approved by the Board of Trustees. Boyd’s successor, Headmaster C C Corfe, was the architect of today’s version which was originally printed as a letterhead in 1895 and which incorporated the current School Motto.
Honour Boards, Trophies and Historical Artefacts
The Old Hall was known in the early days of the School as “the Big School Room”, as it was where all lessons took place. Later it served, among other things, as the Assembly Hall and then the library. Today, apart from still serving as a meeting place and as a function centre, it is the repository for much of the School’s history which incorporates the various perpetual trophy cabinets and the School’s Honour Boards. These include the School’s Senior Prefects, the Duces, the winners of Open University Scholarships, the Rhodes Scholars, Captains of Sports and Honorary Life Members of the Old Boys’ Association etc. Many of these Honour Boards were donated to the School in memory of Old Boys including the various War Honour Boards.
“Still Playing the Game” - official School History
In 1997 the Board of Trustees commissioned a long serving member of staff, John K Winn, to write a history of the School. This book, titled “Still Playing the Game - a History of Toowoomba Grammar School 1875-2000”, was launched during the School’s 125th Year celebrations which were held in August 2000. Copies of this comprehensive work are available for purchase from the School’s Accounts Office.
The School Grounds
The school grounds are amongst the best in the State - almost in the centre of the city and with so many playing fields in proportion to the School's population. The present school grounds were part of the original Queen's Park and for some time after that it became a Mounted Police paddock.
The School Museum and Old Boys' Building
The School Museum is located in the 1924 building "The Old Chem Lab" (more recently, the Cadet Q Store). The refurbishment of this building and the construction of the adjacent archival storage facility was financed by the Toowoomba Grammar School Old Boys' Association. Collectively known as the Old Boys' Building, it was officially opened by the Headmaster and President of the Old Boys' Association on 31 May 2009.
The School Museum with its historic artefacts on display is an outstanding resource. The preservation and display of the historical documents of the School and its memorabilia have been in accordance with advice from specialist personnel from the Queensland Museum. As such, the display and collection is of State significance.
The School Museum is open to the general public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Guests are advised to telephone the School in advance of their visit.
Publications relating to the History of the School
The School's Historian, Mr John Winn, has written a number of books pertaining to various aspects of the School's history. These are available for perusal and reference in the School Museum.