Dear Boarding Families,
Welcome back to another exciting term that is sure to deliver lots of excitement including highs and lows as we work on seeing your child grow and develop in a safe boarding environment here at Grammar.
I have been reading the Blue, Black and White history of Launceston Church Grammar School over the break, around the boarding history. I came across this section in the 1960s which I often share with Alumni when they talk about their boarding experience at Grammar in that era.
In 1965 came a major change with the installation of a hot-water service. New house masters like Arthur Packer and Greville Veron, disapproved of cold showers for boys, and these were abolished. This created a stir, for too many Old Boys, daily cold showers were part of Grammars tradition. Honer recalled that a member of the Board told him that hot showers were a luxury, and cold showers had made him the man he was. Honer replied that this was precisely why hot showers had been installed
Despite the abolition of cold showers, boarders still remembered their life as spartan; mundane food, cold dormitories, strict disciple and regimentation, though ‘A good spirit on the whole’.
When I reflect on this era, I am glad boarding has evolved and our culture currently is developing in the right direction. There is a side note to this as I read further into the cold shower era. The master would go in first and test the water with his hand, then go out into the dorms and tell the boys he indeed had a shower and the cold water was fine. The boarders being ever inquisitive made a hole in the wall and tested his word by spying on this act, discovering that he wasn’t showering and lying to them, so they set up a hose to squirt the master next time he went and “showered”
The interesting point from this passage from the archives for me is the use of the term being part of ‘Grammar’s traditions’. As we aim to meet Australian Boarding Standards as part of our goals for this year, my role is to strategically look at what is worth keeping and what is worth removing from Grammar traditions a conversation we all need a say in.
Enjoy the term and please continue to communicate with the relevant Deputy Heads of Boarding or myself with regards to anything we need to be aware of as we co-parent your child at Grammar.