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BUILDING OF KINGSTON COLLEGE

 

HISTORY OF KINGSTON COLLEGE

In 1925 Bishop deCarteret made the following announcement to Synod:

A new Secondary School for boys is to be open in Kingston in April. I believe there is a great need for such a school in this town. Already we have received 40 applications for entrance. The school will be my own personal undertaking. I am not asking the Diocese to add this to its burden. I take the blame, if blame there is, for having persuaded you to establish the two Diocesan Schools in Brown’s Town and Mandeville. Personally I am confident that in years to come you will not regret that these schools were established. Kingston College is my own private venture which I know will have your sympathy and support. Under the Headmastership of the
Rev. P.W. Gibson I have no fear regarding its future.
Having been appointed Headmaster, Percival Gibson set out to build a school. For the next thirty years, while he remained Headmaster of Kingston College, that is what he did.
The building of Kingston College began with ninety pound which were used to purchase the Old All Saints Rectory at 114 ¾ East (corner of East St. and North St.) The school open in April of 1925 with forty-nine students, a number which rose to over one hundred within the first seven years. When it open there were three members of Staff ; Rev. Mr. Gibson and Messrs. G. E. Mitchell and Cyril Swaby.

In 1926 Rev. Mr. Gibson met a young man who had recently graduated from Munro College and invited him to join the staff of Kingston College. This young man was Douglas W.E. Forrest.

In 1932 Bishop deCarteret who continued to give the school financial backing, died in England. The Synod of 1933 agreed that the responsibility for the school should be taken over by the Diocese. It would also make a loan to the school of the sum five thousand and five hundred pounds.
Since its inception, the school had used the grounds of the former Clovelly Park Estate, which was a few hundred yards further along North Srteet, as its playing field. Now with the loan from the Diocese, Clovlly Park and its Great House was purchased. As soon as the transaction was completed, work began in erecting a building beside the Great House to house the school. The building was completed in 1934 and in April of that year Kingston College was moved to its new home 2a North Street.
Two years later, with the enrolment now at 200 boys, a science department was added. In 1940, a physics laboratory was built.In 1941 the adjoining premises of the Kingston Parish Church Rectory was purchased. This building was used to accommodate the sixth form, the library the art room and the preparatory division of the school. It soon became known as “HARDIE HOUSE”.
In the April of 1946, the year in which Kingston College calebrated its twenty-first anniversary, the construction of an eastern wing to the main building was completed. Yet the building that would probably have given
Percival Gibson the greatest pride and joy was the Chapel which was completed in 1947 and dedicated to St. Augustine of Hippo.
Two further classrooms were added in 1951, and it was now felt that the school was filled to its physical with 560 boys. The Clovelly Park campus of Kingston College was built with a great deal of fore thought for not an inch of physical space had been wasted in the construction of these buildings. In spite of this, ample space remains for the sports field.
The Rt. Rev. Perval Gibson, by then the Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, did not, however, appear to agree that construction work had come to a end. Further extensions were made to some building in 1954 and a modern sports pavilion was erected to replace the old one which had been destroyed by hurricane Charlie in 1951.
Looking back on this incredible amount of construction work, with all the planning, fund raising, supervision and inplementation, it would seen like more than a full-time job for one person. Rev. Mr. Gibson, however, would have been assisted by the Board of Governors of the school and by others, including in later days, the Old Boys.
As important as all this construction work was, it was not the most important of the Rev. Mr. Gibson’s concern. A far more central concern to him was the different kind of construction; the construction of the education and the building of the character of the young men in his charge. He was determined to provide them with a good Christian education that dealt not only with the development of knowledge and intellect, but with moral values as well.
Percival Jamaica - Janet Gentles


In 1963 the Melbourne Campus was purchased from the Melbourne Cricket Club. The Campus is now home to 7th, 8th, 9th Grade ( 1st, 2nd and 3rd Form).

 

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