Mr Ken McGregor
Before being appointed to the position at Strathmore Mr McGregor had taught in several country schools and at Essendon High School. As a teacher of English he had published a well-known, and widely used, series of texts “Ridout and McGregor – English for Australian Schools”.
His task in the early years of Strathmore High School was not easy given the problem of administering a school in local halls, contending with the uncertainty of the building program and dispelling rumours in the local press of student delinquency. In his four years as head of the school Mr McGregor set and expected high standards. He and his team of enthusiastic parents saw, and responded to, the need to establish the school’s traditions. An editorial published in the Glamis Gazette of April 1959 gives us an impression of how they saw their task.
“Schools have their own traditions, but a new school such as Strathmore High School, having no traditions of its own from the past must set about creating them. It is the responsibility of the students, the teachers and others associated with the school to see that what we hand down will be respected by those who follow. Few people will quarrel with the belief that students should be taught in beautiful and harmonious surroundings, and that schools should be an architectural asset to the surrounding community. Our school buildings, or perhaps I should say half a school building, though utilitarian in design is not unpleasant to the eye. Given a pleasant setting it should be beautiful. The present vista of bare earth, thistle and box thorn is unfortunately common to most of our new secondary schools.”
Mr McGregor was unable to hold the position of Headmaster when the school grew in size. Promotion was by strict seniority in those days and the position was awarded to another Headmaster who was a little Mr McGregor’s senior. On 12 December 1960 Mr McGregor delivered his final Headmaster’s report. He commented on the official opening of the school “the school was officially opened by the Minister of Education, the Hon JS Bloomfield on the 3rd of this month. Even the cloudburst and torrential rain just as we were gathering did not spoil the occasion. Makeshift arrangements enabled the program to be broadcast over the public address system. I told the boys and girls who were able to get to the school - some of them drenched - that I admired their loyalty and enthusiasm for their school. The cloud burst may have dampened outdoors and the seating arrangements but it did not dampen our high spirits and enjoyment of the day.”
His comments conclude “and now, I must say goodbye to you all and I confess – I find it very difficult. You have helped me in the school as no other Headmaster has been helped, through those anxious days in which we started, right until tonight. You must give the new Headmaster the same cooperation and loyalty for it is no easy task to administer a large secondary school with its multiplicity of interests and endeavours. I am grateful for what you have done to make my task easier.”