Ogilvie students take a trip down memory lane

A PERMANENT exhibition displaying the rich history of Ogilvie High School was recently launched to the Hobart community at an official ceremony.

‘The History Wall’, which is an initative of the Ogilvie Old Scholars Association, features a restored collection of old photographs of the school’s grounds and past students.

Ogilvie High School principal Julie Bird said the association was keen to provide funding towards the History Wall’s development.

With the help of school staff, a number of appropriate photographs were selected for printing and framing.

“In some cases headings, which were faded and almost illegible, were copied and replaced so that wording in each framed artefact was legible and accessible for the viewer,” she said.

“I would like to thank [our groundsman] Graeme Broadby for his dedicated efforts to prepare the wall and mount all of the memorabilia onto it.

“This is now [an] impressive place to bring special guests to our school.”

Ogilvie High School was built on an area that had been part of the Tasmanian Government Farm, with the foundation stone laid in 1936.

Originally a co-ed school, it was officially opened in July 1937 by Mr A.G Ogilvie, with 330 students enrolled for the first day.

The school was first named New Town Commercial High School until it was later renamed Ogilvie High School after Mr Ogilvie’s sudden death in 1939.

Ogilvie co-head prefect Poorniima Shanmugan said the photographs revealed “extremely interesting stories.”

“It is interesting to think about what life may have been like during the war years at Ogilvie,” she said.

“I have noticed a photograph that shows pictures of aircrafts so that students could recognise if an enemy plane was overhead.”

Kath Venn, a former Ogilvie student and member of the old scholars committee and Order of Australia Medallist, officially unveiled the wall’s commemorative plaque.

It is a great honour and privilege to be asked to officially open this wonderful wall of historical photos here at Ogilvie today,” Ms Venn said.

“I am doing this on behalf of the many thousands of old scholars of the school and especially those who have remained active members of the old scholars and alumni of Ogilvie.”

In her speech at the History Wall launch, co-head prefect Anna Vout described Ms Venn as “an inspiration to students at Ogilvie” crediting her achievements as a prominent female in Tasmania.

“Following her time at Ogilvie High School Kath was employmed with the Australian Workers Union and achieved national prominence in 1969 when she became the first female state secretary of a major political party in Australia,” Miss Vout said.

Kath was also federal secretary of the Labor Women’s Organisation, and president of the RSL Women’s Auxiliary and in 1976 she became Tasmania’s fourth female politician, elected to the seat of Hobart in the Legislative Council.

“She served as an MLC until 1982, including three years as deputy leader for the government.

“Kath has remained active in the paid and volunteer workforce after her retirement from parliamentary politics, in particular with her involvement in the old scholars of Ogilvie.”

Venn House at Ogilvie High School is named in Ms Venn’s honour.

Ms Venn was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1990.

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