Our school was opened in January, 1959 but the first classes – five in total: A1, A2, B1, C1 and C2 – were conducted in the Sandgate Town Hall, on the floor and on the stage, because the first school building (F block) was not yet ready for occupation.
The site on which the school is built was previously used for horse breeding and training, and what we now call the circular lily ponds were originally constructed as swimming pools for horses. They were over six feet deep but have silted up somewhat in recent years.
During the first years the school oval was ti-tree swamp. The trees were bull dozed, dried and burned. The top soil was removed and stockpiled, and tonnes of ash filling were brought in to create the present levels before the topsoil was replaced. The shallow depth of soil compared with the greater depth of ash below, causes moisture to evaporate rapidly and in dry weather the oval very quickly loses its green appearance.
The present course of the creek flowing through the school grounds is not the original one. When the school opened the creek was a progression of evil smelling reedy water holes spaced irregularly throughout the area. At various times action was taken to push soil from one part of the area to another to fill the holes and create a straighter water course with grass growing down to its edges.
Foundation students designed the school badge. Every part of the design has meaning. The motto “Industria Floremus" means “by industry we flourish, or more freely translated “hard work brings success". Latin was taught as a language in the early years of the school. The shield and the boomerang (on which the motto is printed) indicate the association of Sandgate with the Turrbal people who live in the area and featured in its early development.
The IBIS has also been associated with Sandgate since its early development. As a common local bird, it was more frequently seen than nowadays, but local business people early in this century created from the letters of its name “I believe In Sandgate", and over the years there have been ibis choral societies, ibis bus services, ibis butcher shops and ibis sporting teams, to mention only a few of such references.
The history of our house names
Collins (Navy) –Vice Admiral Sir John Collins, born in Tasmania in 1899, was a distinguished Australian naval commander with service in both world wars. The colours red and white are traditional naval colours on an admiral's flag.
Hinkler (Air Force) – Squadron Leader Bert Hinkler (1892 -1933) was the first man to fly solo from England to Australia. He was a Queenslander from Bundaberg. His plane is still on view in the Brisbane Museum. The house colours of blue and silver represent a silver plane on a blue sky.
Monash (Army) – General Sir John Monash (1865 -1931), born in Victoria, led the Australian Army in the First World War and present at Gallipoli. The colours green and gold are traditional army colours.
Story (Public Service) – Mr. J.D. Story had a distinguished career in education. He was an Under Secretary for the Public Instruction before that title was changed to Director-General of Education. He became Public Service Commissioner and later Vice Chancellor of the Queensland University. The Story Bridge (Kangaroo Point) was also named after him. Story colours (mauve and black) have no particular significance but were favoured by the early students who chose them.