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The History of All Saints' College Bathurst

In 1873 Canon Thomas Smith of All Saints' Cathedral, Bathurst, enthused Bishop Marsden with the idea of opening an Anglican College in the city. The following year, on January 27th, the Bathurst Church of England College opened its doors to seven students under the headmastership of Henry Kemmis. Renamed All Saints' College, the College officially came into being in mid 1875 when it moved to its permanent site on the corner of Piper and Hope Streets after a successful fund raising campaign and the Bishop's donation of land.

In 1878 Mr Edward Bean, the Senior Classics Master of Sydney Grammar, succeeded Henry Kemmis. During the eleven years of his headmastership the College developed into a very significant and typically independent College. The scholarly Bean produced the badge and motto, designed the uniform, commenced the Bathurstian, introduced the prefect system, cadets, debating, dancing and carpentry, as well as opening a library and the Prep College.

The third Headmaster, the Rev'd Frederick Tracey, was a great scholar like his predecessor. Under his leadership, the steadily expanding College became one of the ten founding members of the Athletics Association of the Greater Public Colleges. In 1893, with a large number of enthusiastic old boys, the Old Bathurstians' Union was started. With their support Mr Tracey purchased the College from the Church, thus becoming its proprietor, a position he maintained until 1919 when he sold the land and buildings to the NSW Government.

Originally the Assistant Master under Bean and Senior Master under Tracey, the fourth Headmaster, Mr Britten, was a very keen sportsman. His reign at the College saw it become very successful in rugby, football and cricket - several boys going on to play for NSW and Australia. He also persuaded the Old Bathurstians' Union to finance the building of a Chapel, which they later moved brick by brick to the College's present location on Eglinton Road.

In 1911 George Stiles succeeded Mr Britten. Both a linguist and an amateur boxing champion at Oxford University, he pro moted French and German and brought boxing to significance in the College. With the coming of the war in 1914 enrolments dropped, staff became difficult to obtain and prices soared. Despite all efforts, on June 30 1919, Mr Stiles resigned and the College closed its doors.

Then in 1923 the Headmaster of Monaro Grammar College in Cooma, the Rev'd Lindsay Watson, and one of his staff, Mr Cameron McLeod, sought permission to re-open the College on its present site after purchasing Esrom House and 20 acres of adjoining land. The College grew so rapidly that Watson and McLeod had to purchase the nearby Travellers' Rest Hotel for additional classrooms and lease Walmer House on the river for boarders. Buildings m ushroomed as the College continued to grow. The main oval was built and the OBU brought the Cha pel down from the hill.

Finally in 1946 after 24 years at the helm, Lindsay Watson retired and handed the College over to the Rev'd Alan Catley. Unfortunately, the Rev'd Catley was not strong enough to carry the load. Recognising this he stepped down in 1948, passing the reigns over to Mr Ted Evans who guided All Saints' College for fifteen years. Maintaining the momentum of the Watson era, he took the College from a student population of 108 to 315 as well as overseeing extensive development in facilities.

In 1963 Mr Roy Dent, founding Headmaster of Sydney Grammar Preparatory College, took over from Mr Evans. His stay, though brief, was a busy three years. He oversaw the inauguration of the Avern Award (for meritorious service to the College) and the republication of the history of the College.

1966 was a year of three Headmasters. Mr Roy Dent resigned, Mr Vic Tunbridge of Geelong Grammar took over as acting Headmaster and later in the year, the Council appointed Mr Peter Gebhardt as the tenth Headmaster. During his time, Mr Gebhardt introduced many innovative programmes including Eastern-Western Week (work experience), Outdoor Education and Arts andArtists Week. He also initiated the building of the H.R. Richardson Memorial Library and Watson College (now Watson Boarding House).

Mr Dan Massey was appointed Headmaster in 1975. He introduced co-education in 1976 and was instrumental in the College amalgamating with Marsden Girls School in 1977. In 1982 the Junior School was reopened under the guidance of Mr Doug Finlay.

Dan Massey resigned at the end of 1983 and Deputy Headmaster, Mr Bruce Clydsdale, took over until Mr Robert Bickerdike was appointed in 1985. Previously Principal of Girton College and Head of Geelong Grammar's Timbertop, Mr Bickerdike led the College forward through eight years of constant development both in buildings and student numbers.

This period also saw a steady growth in Outdoor Education. Believing a liberal education system best prepares students for adult life, Mr Bickerdike was a strong advocate of “Outdoor Ed", seeing it as a highly effective way of fostering self-reliance and character development.

December 1989 saw the departure of Mr Doug Finlay from the position of Master of the Junior School, a position he held for eight years. Mr Jock Bidwell succeeded him in January 1990. Dr Timothy Wright started at the College in 1993. Previously the Second Master at Trinity Grammar College in Sydney, Dr Wright was responsible for the development of the formal Pastoral Care Structure within the House system and its implementation within the College timetable. His vision of ASC as a Christian College inspired and shaped his leadership.

Dr Wright oversaw the development of College facilities such as the building of the Foundation Block and the Evans Block and the refurbishment of the Science Labs. The second stage of the Junior School Development was also completed during his time at the College. In 1998 the inaugural Transition to School class commenced with a full complement. Dr Wright left ASC to take up a new appointment as Headmaster of Shore (Sydney Church of England Grammar School) in 2003.

Ms Jenny Williams joined All Saints' College from Snowy Mountains Grammar at the start of 2003. She brought with her a wealth of enthusiasm and a fresh vision for the future for All Saints'. She continued the development of the College's Master Plan, overseeing the refurbishment of Britten House, the Dining Room, the Music and IT Centres and the front of Esrom House. Ms Williams remained as Head of College until 20th March 2008 when she accepted the position of Head of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Wellington, New Zealand.

During the interim period following Ms Williams' departure and the arrival of the present Head, Mr Stewart Ross (Head of Senior School) took over as Acting Head of College.

Another significant change for the College came with the resignation, after 18 years, of Mr Jock Bidwell, Head of Junior School, at the end of 2007. Mr Bidwell and his wife left All Saints' to travel to Tanzania to work at the School of St Jude. Mr Christopher Jackman took up the role of Head of Junior School from the start of the 2008 academic year.

Dr Peter Miller, our current Head of College, was appointed at the start of Term 3 2008. He had previously been Head of Middle School at Barker College, Sydney. Before this he served on the staff of Shore School (Sydney), Wellington College (UK) and St Peter's College (Adelaide). He has been involved in rowing, rugby and athletics coaching. Dr Miller received a Rowing Blue at Sydney University and represented Australia in the Senior B Lightweight Four.

Today, ASC has a total enrolment of around 530 boys and girls. With its academic and sporting achievements among the top in the Central Western Region of New South Wales it is one of the most successful Colleges in the state, both academically and in co-curricular activities.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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