BGS is grateful to have the generous support of current and past parents, Old Boys, staff and friends all of whom have contributed significantly over the years. Our Impact of Giving reports share inspiring stories from our donors in the BGS community demonstrating the incredible impact that the strong culture of philanthropy has on BGS. Please enjoy some snippets of the 2020 edition or download the complete version below.
A word from the Chairman and Headmaster
Whilst COVID-19 hampered our seeking of support for some of our philanthropic priorities in 2020, we are fortunate that your support in the past continues to positively impact the School.
We think particularly of the fourteen boys currently attending BGS on means-tested scholarships. Each one of these boys, quite simply, would not be able to attend a school such as ours without your support. It is so pleasing to see the way that these boys have embraced the spirit and culture of Brighton Grammar School and participate fully in the life of our School.
COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of our Bursary Fund. Our Assistance Appeal late in 2020 demonstrated the strength of our community and we were humbled by those connected to our School, particularly Old Boys, who were in a position to support our current families – families who were significantly impacted financially and whose sons’ education at BGS may have otherwise been jeopardised.
Whilst our achievements in recent years are many, to maintain our position as a leading school for boys, we need to plan and invest in the future now. Soon we will embark upon the most significant project in our School’s history – a project that will assist us to better equip our boys with the knowledge, the tools and the adaptability to negotiate the future and seize its opportunities. You will hear more about this vital project in coming months and we expect with support from our community, we will be able to commence this project before too long.
Finally, to those in our community who were in a position to support BGS philanthropically during a most unusual year, a sincere thanks.
To download the full report please click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Chairman, Peter Ickeringill
Headmaster, Ross Featherston
Members make up the Sequamur Society
History of Philanthropy
For close to 100 years, BGS has received the generous support of the community to advance the School. In recent years, and as our culture of philanthropy strengthens, an increasing number of people are now choosing to support the School’s plans for the future.
The Urwin Centre, Annandale, the Wellbeing Centre are just three examples of building projects in recent years that have been significantly supported by our community, the latter being fully funded through philanthropy.
Our community has also generously supported our Scholarship program, providing life-changing opportunities to boys who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend BGS.
Please scroll through the timeline to explore when significant philanthropic support has been provided to BGS.
Crowther PavilionIn 1922/23 the Old Brighton Grammarians’ Society raised funds for the building of The Crowther Pavilion in memory of Dr Crowther. The Crowther Pavilion, erected on the north-west corner of the Crowther Oval, was officially opened in October 1923. The pavilion had provision for visitor and home team changing rooms and showers.
Saving BGSIn November 1923 the Crowther family could no longer financially maintain Brighton Grammar School and it was put up for sale. When the Church of England Diocesan Board of Education failed to purchase the School, Canon (later Archdeacon) Hancock, vicar of St Andrew’s, initiated a campaign to raise the necessary funds.
Canon Hancock and Headmaster, Herbert Dixon, and others literally doorknocked Brighton to raise the necessary sum of £20,000 which, when combined with a loan of £30,000 from the national Mutual Life Association, enable the newly formed Brighton Grammar School Association to fund the purchase.
Tower Clock and BellsIn 1927, John (OB 1899), Norman (OB 1900) and Alan (OB 1913) MacGlashan gifted the Tower clock and bells in memory of their parents, Neil and Agnes MacGlashan. The electric clock was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere having been manufactured by Gent & Co Leicester and installed by Gaunt & Co. Melbourne; the bells were cast by Gillett & Johnson, Croydon, England.
Lilla Kirkham Memorial GatesThe Lilla Kirkham Memorial Gates were gifted to the School by Jack Stott Kirkham in memory of his wife, Lilla, who died in 1948. Jack Kirkham attended BGS 1919-21 and his son John 1942-48.
Memorial HallFunding for the Memorial Hall was the culmination of seven years of fundraising to amass the funds required for the building which was officially opened on 10 December 1953. The Hall was to honour those Old boys who gave their lives in the two World Wars. Fundraising activities included a War Memorial Fete and the selling of small bricks to the value of £2 to £20 each. All gifts from 1945 to 1952 ranging from £2000 to $2 were listed in the 1952 Grammarian.
Annandale Pavilion A fund was commenced in 1954 to raise funds for a sports pavilion with changing rooms and showers to be positioned on the south-east corner of the Crowther oval. Contributions were made by Old Boys, past and present parents, staff and friends of the School and all donations were listed in the 1954, 1955 and 1956 Grammarians. By 1956, the necessary £16,000 was raised and the Annandale Pavilion, named in honour of Walter Annandale Jack, was opened in June, 1956.
The Dorothy Brown Scholarshipwas funded by Frank ‘Sarge’ Brown, member of Staff 1929-70, in memory of his wife Dorothy. This was the School’s first endowed scholarship. The corpus, £4000, was to be invested and act as a bursary to enable boys to remain at BGS when their parents encountered financial difficulties.
Building the Junior School - The Extension Project In November 1957 a large team of men assembled at a luncheon to launch the Extension Project of Brighton Grammar School to raise £110,000 to build a Junior School for boys Prep to Year 3 on land in Grosvenor Street owned by the Gas Corporation. Three distinct groups were formed to visit and seek support from members of the School Family: A F Bottomley chaired the Special Gifts Division; Murray Porter the Old Boys Division; and R N Peachey the Parents’ Division.
The G B Robertson Scholarshipwas funded by friends and business associates of G B Robertson, member of School Council 1948-60, and a passionate believer in education. The Scholarship was to be awarded to a BGS boy studying mathematics or science with a view to a teaching career.
Senior SchoolThe Senior School Science Building was funded through a $30,000 Government grant from The Industrial Fund For the Advancement of Scientific Education In Schools and from gifts and loans raised by members of the School community amounting to approximately £60,000.
The Mirams Scholarshipin honour of BGS student, Major James Herbert Mirams MC, an engineer who died in August 1916 from wounds suffered at the battle of Pozieres. The Scholarship was endowed by Mrs Alice Ida Mirams to be awarded to a BGS boy who enrols in an engineering degree at Melbourne University.
Swimming PoolIn 1971 the School Parents’ Association made a firm proposal to raise funds to construct a pool when a site became available. In 1974 the School purchased the last block of land on the gas works site from the Gas and Fuel Corporation. The School Parents’ Association having already raise substantial funds, approximately $30,000, enabled the School to commence excavation in January 1975. The pool was opened in November 1975 by the Hon Sir John Rossiter, MLA Brighton and a former parent.
Exercise CompletionIn 1979, the School Council initiated ‘Exercise Completion’. An approach was made to all parents who had joined the School family 1978-79 informing these parents of the School’s future plans and seeking their support in contributing to the School’s future development. This appeal was most successful as the initial aim of $40.000 was exceeded by over $7,000.
Robert Sanderson Memorial HallA fundraising committee was established to raise funds for the building of the Robert Sanderson Centenary Hall which was opened in March 1980. School enrolments had outgrown the day-to-day functioning of The Memorial Hall along with the necessity for a suitable venue for the School’s assemblies and enhanced music and drama performances. Whilst all members of the School Community contributed to the fundraising campaign, in his address at the opening of the Hall, Robert Sanderson made particular mention of Mr Bob Hamilton and Major Les Buckley who had taken a very prominent role in the successful fundraising campaign
Rosstrevor Multi-purpose Hall and ClassroomsMany members of the School community - parents, Old Boys and Staff members, supported the Brighton Grammar School Foundation’s Fundraising Campaign for this complex comprising of a multi-purpose hall, several classrooms, a kitchen and large upstirs gallery. A feature of the fundraising was the purchasing of seats in the Hall. A plaque listing over 200 major donors was erected in the Hall foyer.
The Joe White ScholarshipJoe White (1873-1959) was a philanthropic businessman and brewer who generosity supported communities in Ballarat, Torquay and Brighton. Since1996 the Trustees of the Joe White Bequest have annually provided a gift to the School enabling numerous boys to attend BGS.
Senior School Library and Research CentreFor several years the School was aware of the need to build a far more extensive library and resource centre. The Memorial Hall, which housed the Senior School library in its upper floor, was the obvious site for the new complex.
To highlight awareness of the campaign, all boys throughout the School were given an “I’ll be able…’ badge which they proudly wore on their blazer lapel.
Sequamur SocietyIn September 2008, the Headmaster, Michael Urwin, launched the Sequamur Society to acknowledge and thank those members of our BGS community who indicated their willingness to leave a gift in their Will to Brighton Grammar School. The Headmaster formally inducted twenty-five Founding Members of the Sequamur Society which included Old Boys, past and present parents, and current and former members of Staff. The purpose of the Sequamur Society is to build a robust Endowment Fund to ensure the School has a strong and independent future. By 2019 there were 105 members of the Sequamur Society
Ovals CampaignIn 2008, a campaign was launched with a cocktail party to raise $1,000,000 to surface the Junior School and Mitchell ovals with synthetic surfaces. Various members of our School community, including Old Boys, parents and Staff members, volunteered to seek support for this project. The Mitchell Oval was surfaced with a FIFA approved soccer surface with provision for Junior School cricket matches. In the spirit of sustainability, water tanks were installed under the Mitchell Oval to provide a steady supply of water for the Crowther Oval.
The John Gray Scholarshipa means tested scholarship, is awarded to a boy of fine character who can demonstrate that he will embrace the culture and spirit of Brighton Grammar School and benefit from a BGS education. The Scholarship was bequeathed by John Gray (OB 1964) and to date has enabled 6 boys to attend the School for their secondary education.
The Mabel Fairweather Scholarshipwas funded from the estate of Mable Fairweather and from donations from Old Boys who admired the meritorious role that Miss Fairweather played as Junior School Headmistress 1939-62. The scholarship is means-tested and awarded to a boy of fine character and strong all-round ability.
The Robert Connor Dawes Scholarshipwas endowed by a former BGS parent, is means-tested and awarded to a boy of outstanding academic ability and fine character who can demonstrate that he will embrace the culture and spirit of Brighton Grammar School and benefit from a BGS education.
The Briars Scholarshipwas endowed by an Old Boy and is awarded to a boy from a single parent family who can demonstrate his willingness to embrace the culture and spirit of Brighton Grammar School and benefit from a BGS education. The scholarship is means-tested.
The Old Brighton Grammarians’ Scholarship for Citizenship and General ExcellenceThe Old Brighton Grammarians’ Scholarship for Citizenship and General Excellence is exclusively available for the sons of Old Boys. Applicants must be entering Year 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 and may come from within Brighton Grammar or externally from another school. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are of fine character and general all-round ability, and willing to embrace the spirit and culture of Brighton Grammar School. The Scholarship is funded through the OBGS.
The Keith Ferguson BursaryKeith Ferguson bequeathed $200,000 to enable boys to remain at the BGS when their parents suddenly encountered financial difficulties and were unable to meet the cost of fees. Keith, who died in 2016, was a teacher at BGS 1963-1990.
The Rick Pemberton ScholarshipThe Rick Pemberton Scholarship was funded by the BGS community’s generous support through the 2016 annual giving appeal, was established to recognise Rick’s outstanding contribution as a member of the Junior School Staff 1976-2017. The scholarship is means-tested and awarded on the basis of fine character and the ability to embrace and benefit from a BGS education.
The Rofe Scholarshipin memory of Robert Lancelot Rofe Headmaster 1967-1995, is awarded to a boy of fine character and general all-round ability who can demonstrate his willingness to embrace the spirit and culture of Brighton Grammar School. The Scholarship was funded by the Rofe family, and Old Boys and friends of the School in acknowledgement of Robert Rofe’s outstanding contribution to BGS. The Rofe Scholarship is means-tested.
The 431 Scholarshipwas established after the 2017 Annual Appeal, when 431 donors raised $424,000 to fund a new means-tested scholarship. The recipient will be a boy of fine character who can demonstrate his willingness to embrace the spirit and culture of BGS, and who will benefit from a BGS education.
The Indigenous Scholarshipis means-tested and was funded through the generosity of the BGS community through the 2018 Annual Appeal. The recipient will be an indigenous boy of fine character currently in Year 5, 6, 7 or 8 who can demonstrate his willingness to embrace the spirit and culture of BGS and benefit from a BGS education.
The power of a scholarship
The true power of a scholarship can be found in this letter written by past scholarship recipient Oscar O’Brien (OB 2019) on the evening before the 2019 ATAR results were released.
Mr Featherston, Mr Liddle, Mr White, Mr Marshall & Ms Ladas,
Apologies for the group email here but I wanted to express my thoughts to all of you who have had such a massive impact on my life.
On the day before my ATAR is released I want to say a heartfelt “thank-you”. Every time I try to write this it makes me emotional as I am overwhelmed with gratefulness and also it is, in a sense, closing the most influential chapter of my life thus far.
Being welcomed back to the school and the amazing opportunities that the John Gray scholarship allowed me to experience was truly overwhelming. The sense of comradeship and instant belonging was what initially struck me and this feeling stuck by me through my entire senior journey.
The support provided by the school to me, and my Mum, at a time when it was most needed was truly something that I will be forever thankful for. The lessons taught to me outside the classroom by Brighton Grammar School have been especially invaluable and moulded my character. I have learnt values that will guide me through life and, for that, I will be forever grateful.
It goes without saying that if there is ever an opportunity to give back or help the school in any way please never hesitate to contact me.
This is not good-bye as I know our paths will cross again.
I hope you and your families have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in 2020.