Banksia La Trobe Secondary College is almost gone

This is what Banksia La Trobe Secondary College looked like today:


My parents went to this school back in the 1960s when it was called Heidelberg High School.

My mum was sad when she saw my photos of the trashed interior.  She will probably be pretty sad when she sees the above photo.

x Kitten of Doom


~ by Kitten of Doom on February 6, 2014.

24 Responses to “Banksia La Trobe Secondary College is almost gone”

  1. I too went to Heidelberg High, was a foundation student finishing in form V in 1959. Good memories. I was looking at the Form VA school photo, turned up in a bunch of old photos today. It’s a shame to see the school being destroyed, it makes me sad too. What a waste!

  2. I was a student there finishing in 1961. Very sad to see a place with many fond memories demolished. Who would have made such a decision?

    • Four high schools – Banksia La Trobe Secondary College, Bellfield Primary School, Haig Street Primary School and Olympic Village Primary School – merged to create Charles La Trobe College. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps so the council can sell the land of the old schools to developers? There are talks of building a new school on the site.

  3. The weird thing is that while they are pulling old Heidelberg High down the rapidly changing demographics will probably mean they will urgently need to build another High School on the same site .!Ken Smith

  4. I was a Matriculation (Year 12) student in 1968. Mr Hugh Curry was Principal and I was elected as the inaugural President of the Student’s Representative Council. I completed eight subjects that year including one that I was not even enrolled in (English Literature.) I won a Commonwealth scholarship and went on to study Law at Melbourne University. I had a forty year career in the law and am now a retired writer of fiction and social commentator.
    Hugh Curry was a remarkable man. At my first meeting with him as SRC President he asked me , quite bluntly. what I hoped to achieve. I well remember my response. ”Mr Curry, West Heidelberg is Melbourne’s ultimate slum. It’s the Nazareth of the north. Over ninety percent of housing is welfare housing. Thirty percent of households have a member in gaol. Less than thirty percent have even one member in full time employment. The kids in this school are la crème de la crème of the region; but this cream has been taken from much skimmed milk. My aim is to instil in them a sense of pride in what they have already achieved and a sense of destiny in what they can yet achieve.
    Hugh Curry trained his lengthy aquiline nose at me and said “Young man, you are the first of my advisers to share my dream. We shall walk this road together’.
    We stayed in touch for many years into his retirement. We achieved much but the politicians appear to have demolished much of our dream.
    I should also acknowledge Miss Jean Peters as one of the finest teachers of English that I have ever known . She would be proud to know that at least one of her students has achieved a D.Litt.

    I remain a proud Alumnus of Heidelberg High School.

    • Thank you for sharing your happy memories of being a student of HHS, Anthony. I think my parents may have graduated the year before you.

    • I attended HHS from 1962 – 1965 and must have been a year ahead of you. I also have fond memories of the school and Headmaster MacGregor. I do recall there was considerable gender separation though and I also recall some ignorant, vicious, immature teachers and student bullies protected by the staff because they were jocks.

    • you are a fair dinkum Ivanhoe may be could be wanker, I attended this shitfull place, think I “graduated” in 68. Fair dinkum West Heidelberg boys and Gals do not need your dreams, or your soppy Mr Curry tales, he was a fair dinkum useless c**t.

      Janis Ozolins

      • I suspect you are a sister of John Ozolins, a friend of my childhood. I was an Oriel Road West Heidelberg kid, eldest of six and son of a quadriplegic father who was nursed 24 hours a day for 14 years by my mother, a trained nursing sister. I had friends in Ivanhoe but I am no silver spooner. The whole tenor of your comment tells me that you fell through the safety net that Hugh Curry and I dreamed about. I hope John had better luck in life.

  5. It was a dump. I was there from 1958 to 1963. Ignorant, vicious, immature teachers, bullies protected by the staff because they were jocks, pompous, risible headmasters.

    Our first headmaster was one Henry Moody, gnomic and obsessed with stamping out ‘soppiness’ – any contact between male and female students – and with ‘bodily waste’. When he called a boys’ assembly, we were usually certain that we would be castigated over one or other of these issues – ‘there’s a large lump of bodily waste in the third floor toilets’.

    His successor, Ken McGregor, was equally silly and unjust but much scarier. He was hated and feared.

    It’s great to learn that the place is now rubble.

  6. I was a student at this school 1962 – 1965. We were an all girls form and I remember having to clean up a teachers flat near the cookery kitchens for home duties. She was an absolute pug and we hated doing it. Our lockers were on the ground floor outside the science labs and every Wednesday we hated going to them as they made rotten egg gas in the labs.
    I also remember Mr McGregor. He had no time for any student.
    Does anyone remember mouse, the little science teacher? We use to like walking behind him and imitating him. Lol

  7. I used to teach there. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  8. I used to teach there in the early 2000s. Nightmare. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  9. Yes, I remember Mr Myers who you call Mouse – a kind and capable Indian science and maths teacher who was given a difficult time by immature students – and Mr Marshall the science teacher who was similarly given a hard time because of his deafness (became curator of Space Science at Melbourne Museum). Some of us benefited from some of these conscientious teachers (and Mr Cook, Jack Potter, Mrs Jenkins, Mr Watters) to become successful scientists and in other careers.

  10. Comment disappeared. Science teachers like Mr Myers (Mouse) and deaf Mr Marshall (later curator of Space Science at Melbourne Museum), who immature kids used to give a hard time, is why some of us are CSIRO scientists etc today. Yes there were some awful teachers, McGregor was a shocking and frightening headmaster, and there were some even worse students. But teachers like them saved a lot of us – as for Jocks, Jack Potter who later founded the Australian Cricket Acadmia was a real saviour for me – and what about Mr Cook? Be fair and balanced. It wasn’t great at all, but some staff tried hard….and succeeded.

  11. I was at HHS between 1959-61 on a Government scholarship – had to leave at the end of Form V (Year 11) due to family drama. It was a nearly new school then, just getting started, but it wasn’t as bad as some of which I’ve heard. I remember some of the teachers of that era who have been mentioned. I could have used my scholarship to go to any school I wanted, but chose HHS because some of my friends were going there after we finished Year 8 at Westgarth Central School. I have often thought I would have been better served by going to University HS, but overall I did well out of HHS, and have had a satisfying life since. It could have been so much worse. Sad to see the old concrete jungle being torn down.

  12. I had a grudging respect for Mr Jenkins, who was deputy principle until 1962. He was a tough disciplinarian, but he understood the psychology of the secondary student perfectly and there wasn’t much in the school that escaped his attention. He was also, in his own way, fair and even just.

    Mr Marshall fell in love with and married one of the senior women teachers at about the same time he moved to the Museum. This seemed to make him more human, and at least some of the people who had given him a hard time felt guilty and ashamed.

    As for Mr McGregor, well. does anyone here remember the outrage, the interrogations and the recriminations the day his ‘discipline book’ was stolen?

  13. KoD, One of Headmaster Mr McGregor ‘s disciplinary innovations, introduced in 1961 and presumably continued while he remained in charge. It was a large, ledger style book on the table outside his office and students who had misbehaved were sent by their teachers to sign the ‘discipline book’. – name, ‘form’, date and offence

    On Friday afternoons, these students were required to attend Mr McGregor win his office where they would be given a punishment – detention, extra work or, at best, a severe chastisement. The process was extremely humiliiating

    One day, two ‘fourth form’ – year 10 – boys – not in any way your typical bad kids – stole the book and then the school went into a sort of ‘code black’ emergency status, outraged announcements, interrogations – almost all the year nine and ten boys – locker and bag searches, some classes suspended…

    Eventually the book was found in a locker, which surprised many of us, we assumed it would have been thrown in the Darwin Creek. I can’t remember what happened to the culprits, but they weren’t expelled.

  14. Disappointing to see some of the comments above. Arrived 1967 from Bellfield Primary across the road (now demolished). Does anyone out there remember, teachers Lee Adamson (accounting) or Mrs Garner (french), Ted Potter (sport) or Brian Stirton (woodwork) or maybe Mrs Cullen (maths)? I also recall HHS as having some of the very best sporting students in the state. Sue Eddy, Phil Manassa and Julie key, to name just a few. I also recall the Football side being state champions with several guys going on to play at the highest level. I was never any oil painting myself, but great memories all the same…….Trevor.

  15. Yes, memories come flooding back of Henry Moody and Ken Mc Gregor, Geoff Allingham, Jack Potter and fellow students Phil Plane, Sandra Dawes, Peter Slattery, Judy Johnson and good times in the auditorium in the early sixties. Does anyone have any class photographs?
    Suspect the decisions to merge and demolish were actually made by bureaucrats in the Northern Region office of the Education Department. They did the merge and close routine also in reservoir. Had heard that one such bureaucrat ended up being investigated by the police

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