Any Old Boy will tell you the Blue and Gold is part of their blood. They love the history, the traditions, the memories, and the lifelong friends they made during their time at Toowoomba Grammar School. Well, it seems the same can be said for many TGS mums.

The Past Mothers’ Group was formed in 1979 by Mrs Mary Campbell who contacted as many past mothers as she could and invited them to meet at her home where the Past Mothers’ Group was officially formed with the intention of retaining links with the School. Fast forward to 2023 and there are now 63 official members and many other past mothers who come along to enjoy the functions.

Barb MacDiarmid is one of those enthusiastic ladies and she has played an integral role in the positive growth of the group. In fact, Barb was so keen, she actually nominated to be PMG Chair at her very first meeting in 2016!

“We were having a lovely morning tea at the Railway Café and I couldn’t help myself, they were desperate and I couldn’t sit on my hands, so together with my friend Jo Brealey we were voted in,” laughed Barb.

Barb was no stranger to the workings of TGS committees; she was on the Board of Trustees from October 2001 until May 2013, a role that she looks on with fondness.

“I loved this time and my involvement with a very interesting group of responsible people,” stated Barb.

“There was an amazing connection between the members of the Board; it was a like a little family. We had an education focus, but also a business focus. It was a time of growth and very enjoyable.”

Barb said one of the highlights during her time on the Board was the “very interesting and stringent” process involved with the appointment of former Headmaster (2002-2020), Peter Hauser. After 12 years on the Board, Barb decided it was time to resign and allow someone new to bring in fresh ideas.

But the pull of the Blue and Gold was still there. Barb’s husband, Manuel is an Old Boy (1966-70) as are their two sons, Jack (1997-01) and Angus (2002-06), and the family had fabulous memories of their involvement with the School, so it wasn’t difficult for her friend Jo to persuade her to “come along to the Past Mothers’ Group” on that “fateful” day in 2016. Barb took to the role of Chair with enthusiasm and passion and with the help of Jo and the other committee members, and the support of the enthusiastic TGS ladies, and TGS staff, they’ve grown the group to what we know today.

The ladies gather for one function each term – a Welcome morning tea, a Mother’s Day lunch, a Term 3 bus trip luncheon, and a Christmas lunch. There is also an “after work drinks” evening held each October to cater to the mums who are unable to make the day events due to work commitments but are still interested in having the TGS connections.

The group also conducts fundraising activities which go towards sponsorship of the annual TGS Junior School Citizenship Speech Day prizes, with any surplus used in various other ways of assisting the School or students.

Barb believes the biggest challenge for the group is encouraging younger past mums to attend the events.

“We write a letter to all the Year 12 graduating mums inviting them to join the group, but there’s so many distractions when their son’ first leave School that most ladies wait until a few years later,” said Barb.

“When they are ready, they like to come back and find out what’s happening at the School, the changes since their boys were here and to reconnect with old friends.”

Barb laughed as she recounted how the women enjoy the functions so much that many arrive at least half an hour before the scheduled start time and will happily stand around waiting for the doors to open. The aim of the group is to let the ladies catch up, have a chat, enjoy the School grounds, listen to Headmaster’s address or other guest speakers and be entertained briefly by the Grammarphones or other TGS performers.

“Everyone loves the boys and loves seeing them, it brings back so many wonderful memories,” Barb stated.

“It’s a good group of ladies and there’s always room for more to come along.”

Barb stepped down from her role as PMG Chair at the end of last year, handing the baton to Dorette Baker.

“It was time to step away and let someone bring in some fresh ideas and a new style,” said Barb.

“I’d like to see it continue to grow and ideally some younger mums take an interest.”

Barb said it was a privilege to steer the Past Mothers’ Group and to be on the Board of Trustees.

“I love the School. I love driving past and seeing how beautiful it looks. There’s great leadership; it’s a wonderful community to be part of. I’m everything but an Old Boy!”

If you would like to join the Past Mothers' Group please email Jenny Bazley - communications@twgs.qld.edu.au We would love to hear from you.

Barb MacDiarmid with Headmaster, Dr John Kinniburgh

Latest Blog

Teaching Excellence
/
Tuesday, 27 Feb 2024

Literacy at TGS: A research-informed approach

A recent Grattan Institute report has shared that one-third of Australian students are failing to learn to read proficiently, referring to the situation as a ‘preventable tragedy’. In addition, the report identifies evidence-based approaches utilising structured literacy programs with phonics and explicit instruction as the most effective methods of teaching literacy. At Toowoomba Grammar School, we implement a structured synthetic phonics approach to teaching spelling and reading that…

Read More
Community Engagement
/
Friday, 09 Feb 2024

Past Mothers, Present Supporters

Any Old Boy will tell you the Blue and Gold is part of their blood. They love the history, the traditions, the memories, and the lifelong friends they made during their time at Toowoomba Grammar School. Well, it seems the same can be said for many TGS mums. The Past Mothers’ Group was formed in 1979 by Mrs Mary Campbell who contacted as many past mothers as she could and invited them to meet at her home where the Past Mothers’ Group was officially formed with the intention of retaining links…

Read More
Community Engagement
/
Friday, 09 Feb 2024

The TGS Interact Club - the Reward for Work Well Done

The Interact Club successfully raised over $10,000 last year for charities and services on a local, statewide and international scale through the hard work and commitment of its members. With these funds, the Interact Club has donated Backpack Blankets to Toowoomba's homeless, helped AEIOU's efforts in supporting children with autism, contributed to the "Are You Bogged Mate?" campaign for rural mental health and raised funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. As well as many other individual…

Read More
Character & Wellbeing
/
Thursday, 01 Feb 2024

A Question of Character

In an age bursting with technological innovations and an overwhelming abundance of information, the present era appears to be characterised by a swift and unrelenting pace of change. Our society, young and old alike, finds itself constantly bombarded with provocative and sensationalist narratives. The media floods our consciousness with constant streams of global dilemmas, highlighting the flaws of our leaders, uncovering corporate or political scandals, and bringing conflicts and tragedies…

Read More
Boarding
/
Thursday, 25 Jan 2024

Coping with Homesickness

Homesickness can be brutal for both your son and for parents. As a parent it can feel like your heart is being ripped out in some cases daily. It is extremely hard hearing how sad your boy may sound on the phone, and then you are left reeling for 24 hours until the next call – you are often left worried that they are feeling like this all day. Rest assured only vary rare cases are that bad and in most cases it’s temporary and things usually improve as your son settles in. The reality is that…

Read More
People
/
Friday, 19 Jan 2024

Introducing Gabe Robbie, the new Head of Curriculum

I am excited to be joining the staff here at Toowoomba Grammar School in the role of Head of Curriculum. I grew up in a small coastal town in NSW and attended the University of Sydney to complete my undergraduate degree. Please don’t hold my NSW origin against me (Go Blues!). Teaching, and education, has always been a passion of mine and ever since I was in high school, the plan was to be a teacher. I graduated from the University of Sydney with a double degree in Education and Arts, majoring…

Read More
Old Boys
/
Thursday, 11 Jan 2024

What Old Boys Have Contributed to TGS Over Time

The Old Boys’ Association has played an integral role in the history and tradition of Toowoomba Grammar School. It was formed on December 29, 1888, when 25 Toowoomba Grammar School Old Boys met at Long’s Imperial Hotel to create a new society. The Toowoomba Grammar School Old Boys’ Association rules were drawn up, and office-bearers elected. The inaugural president was Mr Joesph Vincent Herbert Esq. (TGS 1877-80) From there, the TGSOBA has grown significantly, ensuring that the Blue and Gold…

Read More
Character & Wellbeing
/
Thursday, 11 Jan 2024

Leap Before You Look

The boarding journey offers students a plethora of opportunities to step outside of their comfort zone and take advantage of new environments, relationships, and opportunities during their time at Toowoomba Grammar School. We often talk about “character education” – a theory that originated in the US and has been increasingly embraced by leading schools globally. It is encouraging all students to develop new approaches to their learning, including aspects of morals and ethics, thinking,…

Read More
Sports & Activities
/
Thursday, 11 Jan 2024

TGS Strength and Conditioning Program

Toowoomba Grammar School has a unique approach to athlete development that focuses on providing students with the skills, tools and mindset required to succeed in sports and life. At TGS, the long-term athlete development (LTAD) philosophy is ingrained in every aspect of the School's approach to sport and fitness. The LTAD philosophy emphasises the importance of age-appropriate training and skill development over a long period of time. This approach recognises that athlete development is a…

Read More