Girls’ school reunion marks milestone

May 13, 2022 BY

Reminiscing: Marilyn Hards, Joan Kilby, Faye Bradley and Ruth Browning joined former classmates as they celebrated 70 years since starting high school. Photo: JONATHON MAGRATH

SEVENTY years ago, a group of girls met when they started secondary school.

They didn’t know it at the time, but they would go on to become lifelong friends.

Former students at the Bendigo Girls’ High School celebrated their special milestone with lunch at the National Hotel on Monday.

Shirley Dawson said she started getting a small group of girls from her 1952 form together about seven years.

“I thought it was just a one off and one of the girls said ‘right, when are we having the next one?’,” Ms Dawson said.

“So up until COVID struck we were having four a year. We had one just before Christmas and another one earlier in the year, and we decided 70 years is a milestone.

“I had all of the girls at the January one scout around to get people, and some from out of town.”

Bendigo Girls’ High School was established in 1916 in Olinda Street, Quarry Hill, however Ms Dawson and her former classmates attended when the school moved into the former Bendigo Supreme Court behind the fernery at Rosalind Park.

In 1959, the school moved to Flora Hill, where Bendigo South East College is now located.

The former court building is now used by Bendigo Senior Secondary College and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

“Quite a lot are in Bendigo and there’s some I’ve stayed friends with since primary school,” Ms Dawson said.

“It’s just important to keep your friends and keep everybody together.”