Leather bound book
Inscriptions & markings
Inscribed by the Headmaster Charles Thorold in 1933 to Form Vb student J.L.W. Merson
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Leather bound book
Inscribed by the Headmaster Charles Thorold in 1933 to Form Vb student J.L.W. Merson
The “Axe Handle” awards originated in 1988, when WO2 Zachary Reark (CSM B Coy and son of famed Old Mentonian, Jim Reark) found an old axe handle in the bush at the end of the 1988 annual Cadet camp. This he proudly marched out of camp with, under arm, in the manner of one bearing a pace stick. This idea seemed to catch on with the then CO, LTCOL Tony Drinan who decided that each CSM would be issued with one of these as a “perpetual trophy” marking his promotion to the rank of WO2 and appointment as a CSM. The name of the recipient was duly engraved on a plate affixed to the handle. The Archive Centre holds about 12 such axes as well as this original.
In 1936, the ‘Moorabbin News’ published Headmaster C.C. Thorold’s Speech Night address. Thorold delighted in the return to Mentone, for the fourth occasion after an absence of five years of the cosseted Graphite Cup for Combined Athletic Sport. To honour particular effort in the Championships, Thorold awarded this Athletics Cup to student Keith Weatherly, as “the mainstay of the athletics team that year. Not only did he coach the team assiduously, but he bore the brunt of the work on the day of the sports by winning 6 of the 7 senior events and by establishing 4 new records”. The Cup was inscribed with Keith’s name and the words ‘Victor Ludorum’ – Sportsman of the Year.
K. Weatherley ‘Victor Ludorum’
Cecil F. Syme was a 1930s Melbourne-based explorer and prospector. He was a son of David Syme, founder of The Age Newspaper, Melbourne. When Cecil’s brother Norman died in 1927, he left a wife and a six-year-old son, Leslie. Records suggest Cecil paid for his nephew, Leslie, to attend Mentone Grammar from 1936 – and that he donated the Syme Cup the following year. It was first awarded to Keith Goode. After leaving school, Leslie Syme enlisted with the Australian Navy. In I942, during World War II, he was killed when his warship, the HMAS Yarra, came under intense enemy fire. He was 21. Leslie Syme is remembered in our Avenue of Honour.
Silver Cup on wood base
Silver Trophy with lid
1943 J. W. Webster Cup for Gym
An annual pilgrimage undertaken by Mentonians, led by Rev Roger Williams, until Papua New Guinea was deemed too dangerous for school trips.
Clive enlisted in August 1914 in the Public Schools Company of the 5th Battalion. He was killed in the Landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 and is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli. He was 26. To honour his memory, the Clive Wellington Were Cricket Trophy for 'the boy who plays the game' was presented to Mentone Grammar in 1936, by his sister, Jessie, wife of Headmaster, Charles Campbell Thorold. It was awarded to Henry Watson Leslie, in his first year at the school.
Silver cricket bats on silver dome mounted on bakelite base
for 'the boy who plays the game'
In 1923, grey caps were introduced and until 1958, they were decorated with the School crest topped by a laurel, to symbolize achievement. In 1958, the School became affiliated with the Church of England and the laurel was replaced with the mitre, to symbolize the Christian faith. Caps for School Captains were adorned with prefect insignia and gold embellishment. This cap belonged to Vic Bell (1946)
In 1945, after feeling Nazi Germany in 1939, Karl Duldig and his wife, Slawa, were finally granted ‘landing permits’ in Australia, after six years living in refugee camps, both here and Singapore. Duldig was appointed art master at Mentone Grammar in 1945, while also establishing a small ceramics business with his artist-inventor wife, Slawa. His work was prolific across several mediums. Our School Archives holds a large collection of sketches, as well as several bronze busts which he made, depicting life, students, and staff at Mentone Grammar during his time at the School from 1945 to 1967.
The untimely death of Principal Keith Jones paved the way for the appointment of decorated Vietnam veteran Neville Clark who valued the School’s character-building ethos and, whereas Jones saw academic results and sport as paramount, Clark believed these were only part of the education of a well-rounded individual. To this end he extended the function of the House system which now had a leading role in pastoral care, rather than just being for sporting purposes. The arts became more prominent and the Gregory Fish Library and a new swimming complex were built. (taken from '90 Years in the Making')
Mentone becomes a Church of England Grammar School. Institution of School Chaplain, 11 February 1958. members of The Board of Management, L to R: Col. C.G. Weir, J Finlay Anderson (Chairman), Revd. S. Moss (at rear) and J.J. Thorold (Principal, Registrar and Secretary to The Board), Archbishop Dr F. Woods (President of The Board), Revd. F. Cuttriss (Board Member), Revd. A. V. Maddick (Chaplain) and L.A. Large (Headmaster).
In October 1939, on the sudden death of his father, Headmaster Charles C Thorold, son, John Jeffery (J.J.) Thorold, a 26-year-old accountant and sole beneficiary and executor was suddenly responsible for 42 students. Numbers had dwindled during the Depression and the situation was so dire, J.J. put the School up for sale. Fortunes changed when the parent of a boarder offered financial support and together with the skeptical backing of Francis Wellington Were, father of J.J.'s step mother, Jessie, the School numbers grew during the war from 50 to 280. The majority of the newcomers were boarders and evacuees from northern Australia as well as England. J.J. adopted the title Principal and worked tirelessly to build the school. He briefly appointed Arthur Burnaby as Headmaster before his search for a permanent Head resulted with the appointment of Lionel Ashley Large in 1945.
Under the Large era the School saw a steady expansion of the Cadet Unit as well as the building of additional classrooms and boarding facilities, and the acquisition of further property. In 1956, the demand for day boy places had grown so much that, in the boarding numbers had to be drastically reduced to release accommodation for the greatly enlarged School which then had 650 students.
J Allan Anderson graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1902. The following year he joined a law practice in the Victorian country centre of Stawell, where he met and married Ethel M. Allingham. Moving to East Kew, Melbourne, in 1917, where his son attended Trinity Grammar School. By March 1921 the family had exchanged their annual summer holidays at Mentone for permanent residence when they moved into Captain Dawson's former home, 'Riviera' off Mentone Parade. Disappointed with standards at this son's new local school and now living in a fast-growing town and district, in 1922, on a train journey to his office in the City, 46-year-old solicitor J.A. Anderson came up with the idea to form a new grammar school for boys in Mentone.
C.C. Thorold in the main classrooms with the Tasmanina blackwood honour board above the door. Lines written on the black board are from Richard II, Act IV, Scene 1: Mine eyes are full of tears, I cannot see: And yet salt water blinds them not so much But they can see a sort of traitors here. Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself, I find myself a traitor with the rest; For I have given here my soul's consent To undeck the pompous body of a king; Made glory base and sovereignty a slave, Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.
1923 trophy for Athletics presented by Emeritus Professor Pollard. During his first year at Mentone, in 1923, six-year-old Alfred Hurlstone Pollard won the 75 yards race and despite such a minor event, received this expensive silver cup. From very humble beginnings Alf would later become one of Australia’s most outstanding actuaries, having made particularly important contributions in the field of actuarial education. The hallmarked silver trophy was inscribed by the Pollard family and donated back to the School 80 years after it was awarded.
The navy cap represents the earliest period of Mentone Grammar’s history (1920-22) under Headmaster John Aubrey Ball. This was prior to the School’s foundation, in 1923, at the present site on Venice Street
The cased Memorial Stone originates from Hellfire Pass, the name of a remote railway cutting on the former Burma (“Death”) Railway, in Thailand. It was a particularly difficult section of the line, which was built without appropriate tools, using the forced labour of Australian, and other allied Prisoners of War. Many men died during the building of the railway, 69 on the Hellfire Pass alone. Archibald Fredrick Roberts, one of the original 1923 schoolboys of Mentone Grammar, was taken prisoner by Japanese forces in 1942. Though he did not work on the railway, he died through malnutrition and forced labour in Ambon, 1945 and is remembered in our Avenue of Honour (Bayview Campus)
Victorian Collections acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.