Senior School Houses.
Da Costa House
Da Costa House was founded in 1920 and takes its name from one of the School’s great benefactors, Benjamin Mendes Da Costa. In 1848, seven years after coming to the colony, he returned to England but during his stay he had formed a close friendship with the Reverend James Farrell, one of the founders of St. Peter’s College. Farrell’s interest in the School undoubtedly influenced Da Costa to bequeath his South Australian real estate to the School, subject to the life interests of ten of his relatives, each of whom proved to be abnormally long-lived.
Today on the site where he originally lived on Grenfell Street, stands the Da Costa Building, and he is also remembered at the School by Da Costa Hall, and the Da Costa Scholarships.
An additional day-boy House was created from the beginning of the 1987 School year, as a result of increasing concern over the growing numbers in present day-boy Houses. The new House was named Farr House, after the School’s second Headmaster, Canon G.H. Farr.
During the years in which he was Headmaster, 1854-1878, he was responsible for the introduction of many of the School’s fine traditions which have endured through the years and which have given a strong foundation to the School. A man of firm principles and sound but fair discipline, he introduced some of the elements which give a distinctively Australian rather than English flavour to St Peter’s College.
The effect of his outstanding leadership was considerable. Above all he created the spirit of the School.
In September 1840 James Farrell, a graduate of Trinity college, Dublin, came to South Australia as assistant colonial chaplain to the Reverend C.B. Howard. In March 1849 Bishop Short appointed him the first Dean of Adelaide. Dean Farrell is remembered by the School for the many scholarships and bequests he granted it.
Apart from being a benefactor to St Peter’s College when it was struggling to get off the ground in its early days, Dean Farrell was one of the true founders of the City of Adelaide, and gave a lot to the new-born city.
The House was founded in 1920 as McMillan’s House and became Price’s in 1921. In Lent term, 1924 Farrell House emerged, with Mr A.G. Price as Housemaster.
The House was named after George Wright Hawkes who arrived in South Australia in 1847, when the colony was only 11 years old.
An original benefactor, he immediately threw himself into promoting the venture and became secretary to the Board, a position he held for twenty-eight years. For nearly fifty years he was a Governor of the School and helped to pilot it through many troubles. His practical energy, coupled with cheery optimism and extreme generosity, distinguished him as a citizen, social worker, and true Christian – an example to all those in his namesake House.
In 1920 the Reverend W.H. Irwin was appointed the first Housemaster of the House, which was called Irwin House until 1924.
The emblem is the Southern Cross constellation in white on a background of dark blue, which is also the colour for the House Guernsey.
During the early 1960’s two new day houses were established in 1963. One of these, Howard, took its name from that of the first Colonial Chaplain in South Australia, The Reverend Charles Beaumont Howard, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He sailed in the “Buffalo” which reached Holdfast Bay on December 28th, 1836 and on the following Sunday, January 1st, 1837, he conducted Divine Service in the Government Hut.
He was to be responsible for the building of Holy Trinity Church North Terrace which was completed by August 1838.
Mac Dermott House
In 1937 because of the increasing size of the School, MacDermott House was founded with Mr. R. Holtham as its Housemaster. Emerald green became the House colour and the thistle was made the House emblem, under which appears the motto: ANIMUS VINCIT OMNIA, “spirit conquers all”.
MacDermott is named in honour of Marshall MacDermott, an officer of the army of King George III, who retired early, sold his commission, and migrated to Western Australia, where he became a close friend of the Governor, Sir James Stirling. Moving from Perth he immediately became active in St John’s Church and in arousing support for a “superior school” he helped raise funds, and stimulated Captain Allen into making his large donations.
He can thus be called one of the principal founders of the School.
School & Allen
There have been boarders at St Peter’s College since 1848. In 1920, Brooks House and Wyatt House were formed. In 1924 Brooks House was renamed Allen House after Captain Allen, one of the early benefactors of the School. In 1932, Allen House and Wyatt House merged to form Wyatt & Allen House.
By 1972 demand for boarding places had fallen, mainly due to the effects of a rural recession. It was decided to reduce the three boarding houses to two and the house was known as School/Athelney. In 1983, the House resumed the name of School House.
Due to a continued reduction of boarding numbers nationwide, School House and Wyatt & Allen House merged in 2003, to form to House of today, School and Allen, sited on the School’s main drive.
Short House was named after Augustus Short and the first Bishop of Adelaide (1802-83). He arrived in Adelaide in 1847 on the eleventh anniversary of the foundation of South Australia. By January 1848 he had acquired for the church 30 acres of land adjoining the seven and a quarter acres already purchased by the Proprietors of the Church of England Collegiate School at Hackney.
In 1849 he became the first Visitor of the School, and in May of that year he laid the foundation stone, consisting of two blocks from the Old City Bridge, of Old School House. He was a fine scholar and a thoughtful preacher, who always endeavoured to convince by argument rather than by use of rhetoric. He was an excellent business man, who could deal with Church matters with firmness, wisdom and discretion.
In 1937 two new Houses, Woodcock and MacDermott, were formed to add to the six other existing Houses in the School. Woodcock House was named after the Reverend William James Woodcock.
He was invited to South Australia after missionary work in the West Indies. He was a warm, earnest and zealous worker for his congregation and various outside organizations and mission affairs, including Pulteney Street School and St Peter’s College; for St Peter’s College he was one of the founders.
He was incumbent of St John’s 1846-1849 and of Christ Church, North Adelaide, 1848-1868. He was Archdeacon of Adelaide 1856-1868. Woodcock died at North Adelaide on May 25th, 1868, aged 59.
All old scholar Kookaburras are invited to the Young House 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner Saturday 21 September, 2013.
Further details to be announced closer to the date.
Young House was formed in 1963 to cater for the influx of new boys to the Senior School when it was expanded from four to five classes in each level. The House was named after Henry Fox Young, the fifth Governor of South Australia and a benefactor of the School. The Young Exhibition, awarded to the Dux of School, is named after him.
Young was a popular leader, the first civilian Governor in the up-and-coming settlement of South Australia. He was one of the first to realize the potential of the hitherto undeveloped regions of the River Murray tableland. It was his efforts, and those of others, that set the wheels in motion for the exploration and subsequent settlement of the rich Murray riverlands. The new House was named after this fine citizen for his contribution to South Australia.
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