Wollongong High: more on the centenary

Saw this in The Illawarra Mercury a couple of days ago.

Every day has been a highlight for teacher Janet Cunningham during her 39 years teaching at Wollongong High School.

During her time at the school, it has transformed from a selective high school to a comprehensive high school during the late 1970s, 80s and early 1990s, before evolving into a specialist performing arts school in 1993…

With plans for retirement now on the horizon, Mrs Cunningham is looking forward to being part of another significant milestone in the school’s history, its 100 year anniversary. Centenary Committee member and former principal Kevin Riolo said Mrs Cunningham had played a key role in the history of Wollongong’s oldest high school, supporting him to develop the school into a performing arts school. Wollongong High produced countless distinguished alumni with many of the Illawarra’s doctors, lawyers, prominent sports people and more recently musicians and performers direct products of the school.

The school will celebrate its 100th anniversary on December 10 with a range of activities. In the week leading up to the centenary tours, including a historic display in the school hall will be held from December 5 to 9.

Two centenary showcase nights will be held on December 5 and 6 at the school’s performance space WHSPAC with tickets available from the school after November 1. On Wednesday December 7 students will explore the school’s development over 100 years in an activity day…

Visit: Wollongong High School Centenary Celebrations 2016 Facebook page.

I taught there 1975-1980, with a hiatus working at Sydney University 1977-8. So I worked with Mrs Cunningham at the start of her career.

But my family’s connection to WHS goes right back to the beginning: Wollongong High’s centenary, my family history, WW1.

My Uncle Keith Christison and Aunt Beth Christison (Heard) went to WHS in the 1930s. I had an Uncle, Colin Whitfield, who was part of the founding intake. He was born in 1901, but I never met him.  This may be seen in Shellharbour Cemetery:


For the sad story behind these see Neil’s personal decades: 20 – Shellharbour Whitfields 1905 and Neil’s personal decades 26: Whitfields, Christisons, and more — 1915

See also More “Neil’s Decades” — 3: 1976. I must look into participating in some of the centenary celebrations.