SGHS – it’s been a while

Last Saturday I got dropped off at the Moore Park Golf Course entrance on Cleveland Street. It’s been some time since I got out at that particular location, walked down to the lights and entered Sydney Girls High.

There was a special event on at the new multipurpose, cross-school Governors Centre. It is now a century since SGHS moved to Moore Park, after more than 50 years in the city, on Elizabeth Street where David Jones now stands.

One hundred years. Worthy of a celebration, and a revisit to a place where I spent six years going to school. Some things have changed at the old place, and some things are remarkably similar to when I was there, nearly forty years ago.

It was the official opening of the Governors Centre, which comprises of a large theatre space, and upstairs a multipurpose hall I suppose you could call it. A large space that can be divided up into small rooms, with a verandah, overlooking the Lower Grounds.

The opening took place in the theatre, which was full of proud parents, old girls and indeed young girls in their uniforms. Up we all stood to sing the school anthem, the words of which came flooding back and were also printed in the program. The choir and the orchestra were in fine form. Not only for the anthems but also their own items.

Speeches were made, songs sang, a play performed. History outlined, achievements listed and, I have to say that the future does actually look good when you sit in a room full of women, dare I say elders, leaders past present and emerging, full of praise for public education.

I had managed to purchase a ticket for the ceremony and thought I’d missed out on one for the afternoon tea that was on in the upstairs room. Luckily I managed to get one on the day, due to my old classmate taking me under her wing.

Before that we went out to the smoking ceremony on the forecourt, Uncle Matthew was in charge of that, and it was gorgeous. We are always on Aboriginal land and it was a great reminder of that fact.

Upstairs for cake, tea, sandwiches and conversation. It was just lovely to catch up with some old friends, enjoying the view across a playground that is so very familiar and not that greatly changed in the last 37 years. There are a few new buildings but the essence of the place has stayed the same.

Off we went to wander through the corridors, into old classrooms with exhibitions, down past the principal’s office, into the English staff common room. Current school girls were all over the place, waiting to help us old girls – to the extent that one ran off down the corridors to check if the side gate onto Anzac Parade was open for me, and then made sure I got out okay. Actually there were about 6 girls who accompanied me and my class mate. Sometimes I feel quite old – being surrounded by young friendly teens was one of those times.

So it was across the pedestrian overpass to the bus roadway, where indeed I caught the light rail down to Central. I kind-of felt like I should’ve been heading the other way and waiting for the 339 at the Colonial Diner. The Diner no longer exists, the light rail and the overpass are pretty new if you ask this old duck – so some things change and some stay the same.

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