Historical information

This reproduction photograph was donated at a major reunion in 2008, organised by students of the school from the 1950s. It pictures Mabel Molland and a young student at Monomeith, home to the school since 1956.

Monomeith is a Victorian Heritage Register listed (VHR number H0452), italianate styled brick villa, built in 1887 for one of Williamstown’s most important identities, James Styles. Styles’ distinguished career in public life included membership of the Williamstown Council, a stint in state parliament as the Member for Williamstown (1894-1900) and, in 1901, election to the first commonwealth parliament as a senator. During the 1890s he was also a commissioner of both the Melbourne Harbour Trust and the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works and one of the trustees of the Williamstown Grammar School.

The property comprises the residence designed by W Bennett Hall and built by James Styles in 1887 and the former migrant hostel buildings (now administration and classrooms), erected around 1951 by the then owner the Melbourne Harbour Trust, and intended to house migrant workers during the dredging of Port Phillip Bay.

By the 1950s, the School had outgrown its home at Holy Trinity Hall and Mabel Molland reached out to Mr. Keith White, president of the Parent's Association and well-respected member of Williamstown Council for assistance. In 1956, following lengthy negotiations led by Mr. White, Monomeith was leased from the Melbourne Harbour Trust under a seven-year lease, which eventuated as a twenty-one year lease, followed by purchase of the property in 1972. Since then this historic building has come to be a much-loved symbol of the history of Westbourne Grammar School.

This is a rare image of Mabel Molland at Monomeith, taken in the year prior to her retirement having taken over the school in 1914 and then set it on a path for the future as an incorporated company in the hands of a school council, with Mr Keith White as president, in 1956.

Physical description

Black and white reproduction photograph of a a residence (Monomeith) with steps in the middle ground, leading up to a verandah with ornate ironwork. Mabel Molland stands on the steps and a young student can be seen on the verandah.