Official Opening of the St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School Sports Precinct
Member for Clayfield; Your Grace; St Margaret’s Patron, Mr Harris; Council Chair, Mrs Quinn; Principal, Ms Curtis; staff, supporters, and, importantly, students. It is a great honour to join you all on this most special day in the 125th anniversary year of this richly uplifting School.
I too acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Congratulations on your 125th anniversary, for which there is an informal but rather lavish term, quasquicentenary.
The word quasquicentenary was formed from Latin roots in 1961. This makes it much younger than your own Latin motto Per Volar Sunata – Born to Fly Upwards – which is equally well crafted, and wonderfully apt.
For generations, students from St Margaret’s have soared high in academia, in the performing arts – as was so beautifully demonstrated earlier this morning – as well as, notably, in the sporting arena.
Today’s official opening of the Sports Precinct has been much anticipated by the St Margaret’s, and the broader, community.
It is a shame it could not go ahead as originally conceived, but the enthusiasm is such that not even COVID-19 restrictions can dampen the occasion!
St Margaret’s has never let adversity impede progress. The first 25 metre pool was built during the Great Depression, and so it seems somehow fitting that these magnificent facilities, including an appropriately reimagined Philip Harris Gym, should come to fruition during another time of global hardship.
Projects of this quality and scale do not happen without commitment and effort.
I congratulate and thank the St Margaret’s Foundation and all donors, the State Government and everyone involved in the project for the enormous amount of work that has gone into it over many years.
Without doubt, Sister Caroline Amy and the School founders would be thrilled with what you have created here.
Physical activity was one of the underpinnings of the educational philosophy of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent.
The earliest lessons, back in the 19th century, incorporated tennis, rowing, basketball and swimming. Now, the fortunate young women who pass through the portals of St Margaret’s have access to first-class facilities in a wide array of sports, and will add to the illustrious legacy of Old Girls who have excelled at the highest level, such as Olympians Bronte Barratt, Sally Kehoe and Madeleine Edmunds.
What an inspirational School community you belong to!
It is very special for me to be here today, proudly following in the footsteps of at least 11 former Governors or their spouses, going back to 1928, when Sir John Goodwin opened the first purpose-built school building on this site, the ‘New Wing’ – I believe it is now called ‘West Wing’.
It was also from here in 2002 that I telephoned then Bishop Aspinall in Adelaide to ask would he accept office as Archbishop of Brisbane. (I was Chair of the Archbishop Election Committee which had sat here over a couple of days). His acceptance was wonderful for this Diocese – indeed the national Church as it transpired. What a wonderful Archbishop he has been, and his pastoral support of St Margaret’s – indeed all Anglican schools – has been substantial, measured and consistent, so important to schools which profess to follow the Anglican Christian tradition, and which, on my humble assessment, this School very much succeeds in doing!
Members of the St Margaret’s community, it now gives me great pleasure to unveil this plaque before you all, thereby declaring officially open, the St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School Sports Precinct.