Ch.7 – The Girls’ Grammar School

Anglican Church Glen Innes

The Vicarage became the Girls’ Grammar School for a period in later years.  To quote from the Beardies Heritage by E.C.Sommerlad: ‘The need for a good school for girls in Glen Innes caused a number of residents to take steps to establish one, the movement starting in 1918.   The lead was taken by members of the Church of England and eventually a school under the management of a committee of that body was opened in 1919.  Miss Fittock B.A. was appointed Headmistress.  By the kindness of the Vicar, Canon Kemmis, the Vicarage is in use as a school residence….until the  … school can secure a home of its own.  It closed however some three years later.’

In the Examiner 23rd December 1920 J.F.Madigan (Architect) called tenders for the erection of a new verandah and other additions to the Vicarage.  “While the school occupied the Vicarage, the Clubhouse of the newly opened New England Club at “Braemore” West Avenue in 1928 became the home of the Rev. H.K.Gordon.  The reason this minister, the then incumbent at Holy Trinity Church of England was not living in the Vicarage was that it was then occupied by a Girls’ School.

The Church of England Girls’ School in 1922 had an enrolment of 56 pupils, 12 of whom were boarders.  The Church of England had relinquished the running of the school in 1926 and though it was now under the control of Miss Walden and called ‘Leighton Girls’ School’ it remained at the Vicarage.”

The Rev. Canon Kemmis’ ministry continued until 1923, when the Rev. H. K. Gordon became Vicar until 1928. The Rev. Gordon was a notable preacher who had served with distinction during World War 1.  His wife formed the Ladies’ Guild with an original membership of 30 women and was its first president.  The Rev. Canon A.W.Coates was the Vicar of Holy Trinity from 1928-1933. Then followed Canon Hunter Barratt arriving from Manilla in 1933. These years were most difficult years being known as the Depression Years throughout the world. The Rev. Canon Barratt built up the life of the Church greatly and by his work and teaching significantly increased the number of communicants.

The existing altar built of fine carved oak was donated in 1944 by members of the Young Family, in memory of their father,  Percy Sing Young.  In the same year the reredos (a screen or wall decoration at the back of an altar) was erected in memory of John Rule.