Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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'In 1913 the Presbytery of Geelong appointed a committee to investigate the question of establishing a Presbyterian Girls' School in Geelong, but the outbreak of war in 1914 delayed action being taken towards the inauguration of any scheme.

The next opportunity came in May 1919 when the Reverend C Neville approached Miss Harris, Principal of The Newtown Ladies' College, with an offer to buy the school equipment and goodwill of her school in Elizabeth Street, Newtown, at which there were about seventy pupils.'

The Morongo Presbyterian Girls' College was opened on its new site on 27 October 1927 by the Governor-General, Lord Stonehaven. It was established at Bell Post Hill in John Calvert’s Morongo mansion, built in 1859. The property was sold to the Presbyterian Church in October 1926 by J F Guthrie. The Presbyterian Girls’ College had been opened earlier, in 1920, at the property known as 'Roslyn' at the corner of Elizabeth St and La Trobe Terrace, Newtown and, in doing so, had acquired the nearby school known as Miss A C Harris’ Newtown Ladies College.

Morongo Gate and Lodge, circa 1968.

Morongo Gate and Lodge, circa 1961.

Several associations between Geelong College and Morongo developed. These included joint social occasions such as dances, drama and music productions such as George Washington Slept Here, 1960; tennis and baseball matches; joint PFA camps; and, in later times senior classes. Following Morongo’s demise, many students transferred to Geelong College. Three Awards which have associations with Morongo are given annually. These are:

- - Morongo Award, presented to a Year 11 student who has performed at a high academic level and who is a direct descendant of a Morongo Old Collegian. If there is no eligible descendant, the award is made to the most academically able student at the end of Year 11. This continuing award was first made in 2003.
- - Morongo Medal, for the Captain of Mackie. This continuing award was first made in 1998.

- - Morongo Medal, for the Captain of Mossgiel. This continuing award was first made in 1998.

Following the cessation of the Morongo Old Collegians' Association, the Margaret Shannon Memorial Cup was accepted as an award at The Geelong College.

Morongo closed in 1994. The Geelong College is custodian of student records from Morongo and the heritage collection formerly held by the Morongo Old Collegians Association (MOCA). Enquiries regarding these should be directed towards The Geelong College.

Program for 'Pirates of Penzance', a joint production between Geelong College and Morongo.

Program for 'Pirates of Penzance', a joint production between Geelong College and Morongo.

Sources: W H Brownbill, The History of Geelong and Corio Bay. p 204; Ad Astra, March 1970.
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