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St. George's College - a brief history

In 1895 the Rev J T Stevenson, an Anglican priest born in South Africa and educated there and at St Augustine’s College, Canterbury, was invited to go as chaplain to All Saints’ Church, Quilmes, where "there resided 2000 adherents of the Anglican Church, and where there was scope for development."

Many years later he wrote that the information then supplied was erroneous. On arrival he found that there were 200 Anglicans attached to All Saints’ and that there was little scope for development. Consequently, he intended to return to England, but since there existed the possibility of raising money to start a school and since a lady in Quilmes owned a property known as Quinta Rooke which she wished to lease or sell, Canon Stevenson approached the Bishop’s Council for permission. Despite some hesitancy the Quinta Rooke estate was leased for two years with the option of purchase either during or at the end of that period for £5,000, and before the time expired it was bought, due to the generosity of many people and firms. The approximate area was 72,000 square metres, and the building consisted of a large rambling one-storey house, a small cottage and stable accommodation. The Headmaster’s family, the boys, the matron and maids lived in the house, while the assistant masters occupied the upstairs of the cottage and the servants the downstairs of the same.

The motto chosen was Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum taken from the fable of the Fox and the Lion as told by the poet Horace: "Quia me vestigia terrent, / Omnia te adversum spectantia / Nulla retrorsum", says the Fox to the Lion who invited him into his den. "I am afraid of those footsteps; every track leads to your home but never a one leads back." The words stand for the principles of integrity, truth, the fear of God and true religion, which the Founders of St George’s and their successors have endeavoured to uphold and inculcate.

The Founders had agreed to open the School provided 20 boys, all of whom had to be boarders, were enrolled; but actually St George's opened in 1898 with only six pupils. This was made possible because the Headmaster, who was still Chaplain of Quilmes, gave his services free and the Founders agreed to cover any deficit from their own pockets.

Progress was slow at first, but more rapid later. From time to time further land was purchased and buildings erected and enlarged. In 1901 the first edition of the school magazine, The Georgian, was published and in 1908 the Old Georgian Club was formed. There are now more than 1500 members. The first Old Georgian Dinner was held in 1910, and in the same year the Sanatorium was built. The pavilion, which still stands, was erected in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V. On Founders’ Day in 1913 the foundation stone of the College chapel was laid. A cylinder was placed beneath the stone containing current copies of the "Buenos Aires Herald", "La Nación", the "Diocesan Magazine","The Georgian", the "College Prospectus" and "The Standard", as well as examples of various coins of the day. The Classroom Block was opened in April 1919 and in 1923 rugby was first played in the College.

In July 1925, Mr. Tschiffely, the PE instructor, started his famous 10.000 mile ride on horseback from Buenos Aires to New York.

For more information, please visit St. George's College website.


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