by Cathy Jones
Strathfield is known for its many schools. This is a timeline featuring the opening dates of local schools.
Druitt Town Public School opened on Homebush Road and Liverpool Road, Strathfield South. The school was renamed Strathfield South Public School in 1893.
Homebush Public School in Rochester Street Homebush opened.
Eton College was opened by Dr Joseph David Sly for both day and resident students. Eton College was located in Redmyre Road Strathfield (then known as Homebush) but closed due to financial problems in 1892. Dr Sly attributed the failure to economic conditions of the time.
Santa Sabina College was opened by the Dominican Sisters on The Boulevarde Strathfield.
Mrs Jane Monckton established a school in her home in Agnes Street Strathfield. The school moved to Woodward Avenue in 1907 and in the following year was sold to Miss Turner who established it as the Meriden Private School for Girls. It was subsequently moved to a site on The Boulevarde and then to its current site on Redmyre Road Strathfield. In 1926 Miss Turner returned to England and the school was purchased by a group of Strathfield citizens. The school was expanded in 1914 with the purchase of the house ‘The Briars’. In 1929, it was taken over by the Church of England. In 1936, additions were made to the school with the erection of Wallis Hall, incorporating the Briars building. In 1961, the school acquired ‘Selbourne’, an Edwardian style mansion facing Redmyre Road. ‘Selbourne’ was demolished in 1978 for sportsgrounds. The school has continued to expand through acquisition of additional properties on Margaret Street, Redmyre Road and Vernon Street.
Flemington Public School opened. In 1947, the named of the school was changed to Homebush West Public School.
The house ‘Llandilo’ The Boulevarde Strathfield was purchased in 1917 by the Rev. Wheaton who established the Strathfield Grammar School. In 1926 the school was bought by Trinity Grammar School. In 1938, the school became the Trinity Grammar Preparatory School. The former private houses ‘Somerset’ (built 1923 for solicitor James Larcombe) and ‘Milverton’ (built 1915 for solicitor George Turner) have since been added to the school.
From 1923 to 1944, the house ‘Waratah’ 37 Homebush Road Strathfield operated as a school ‘Branxton’ by the Misses Thompsons. The school was later transferred to the Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC) Croydon who maintained a campus at Margaret Street Strathfield until the late 1990s. This is now operating as ‘Lingwood’ Meriden College.
A small school commenced operations at St Martha’s Catholic Church in 1925. In 1941, the first school building was built facing Churchill Avenue Strathfield for St Martha’s Catholic Primary School.
St Patrick’s College was established by the Christian Brothers at Edgar Street Strathfield.
Homebush Boys High opened. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald 4 August 1936 “The new Boys’ Junior High School,’ fronting Bridge-road, Homebush, to be opened next Monday, will accommodate about 1000 boys of post-primary standard, who will be transferred from the Petersham and Summer Hill schools where there are 28 classrooms and two science rooms. A main assembly room 80ft x 40ft is complete with a stage and dressing rooms. The building is two-storied and of imposing appearance and cost about £25 000. It was elected on an old estate of 5 ¼ acres and many of its ornamental trees and shrubs have been left standing in the grounds. Adequate provision has also been made for proper drainage of the grounds”. The school was originally known as ‘Western Suburbs Boys High School’, then Homebush Junior High School and from 1944, it was named Homebush Boys High.
The Dominican Sisters established a primary school at ‘Del Monte’ The Boulevarde Strathfield. The school was renamed ‘Santa Maria Del Monte’ in 1951 as the primary school of Santa Sabina College.
Strathfield Girls High opened as a single sex secondary comprehensive school for girls on Albert Road Strathfield. The school was built on the site on which the homes ‘Milroy’ and ‘Elwood House’ had been located. These houses were demolished in 1929 with the intention of developing a new estate called ‘Milroy Gardens’, however only seven houses of the subdivision were ever built. The majority of the land was acquired by the NSW Minister for Public Instruction to build a new school. However, until 1954 when Strathfield Girls High was finally built, the land was used as a public park known as ‘Milroy Park’. During WWII, the land was leased by the Australian Army for training purposes and after the War, part of the land was laid out as a cricket oval.
The school opened in September 1953. The Sun newspaper (p15) reported on 18 September 1953 that: ‘One of the most modern Government schools in Australia, the Strathfield Girls’ High School, costing £200,000, was officially opened today. Education Minister Heffron said at the opening ceremony that the school school compared with any institute in the world. The school, a two storeyed brick building, has separate wings for classrooms, chemical laboratories, and home science rooms. The assembly hall is artificially ventilated and has an auditorium 70 feet by 40 feet.’
Sydney Adventist College in Albert Road Strathfield opened. It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 January 1952 “The educational director of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Pastor A. W. Peterson, said yesterday that it was not the duty of the State to teach religion. ”That can be done only in the Church school’, he said. Pastor Peterson was speaking at the opening of the new Sydney Seventh Day Adventist High School at Albert Road, Strathfield. The school was officially opened by Dr. L. J. Parr, M.L.A. for Burwood. It cost £35,000 and has room for 200 boys and girls”.
St Anne’s Catholic Primary School opened in 1957 at St Anne’s Square, Strathfield South.
Australian Catholic University was established in Strathfield. The university operates on the site which was formerly the ‘Mount St Marys’ Christian Brothers Centre and later the Catholic College of Education.
Sydney Adventist College, Albert Road Strathfield, closes.
Marie Bashir Public School opens. This primary school operates from the site of the former Sydney Adventist College, which was acquired by the NSW Government. The school is named after former NSW Governor, Marie Bashir.
Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School opens. The primary school is located on George Street Homebush and is the parish school of Our Lady of the Assumption in Underwood Road Homebush which opened in 1953.