On 7 February 1961, Westminster opened its doors to 143 foundation students - all boys, across Years 1 to 8 (equivalent). It was on that day the School’s first Headmaster Douglas Highmoor Forder famously declared to the assembled students, parents, staff and live radio audience: Let the life of the School begin.
The first day of classes was followed by the official opening of Westminster School on Sunday 12 February 1961 by The Right Honourable, Robert Menzies, MP, Prime Minister of Australia. It was an early milestone, one of many since recorded on our Stone and Path of Progress and celebrated throughout our history, not the least being to embrace coeducation in 1978. Of course, there have been challenging moments during the past 60 years but with more than 10,000 Old Scholars, the School has earned its fine reputation as a leader in education.
The School’s 60th Anniversary marks up another important milestone and it is our great pleasure to invite you to join with us in this momentous occasion to suit community guidelines and your circumstances. We plan to celebrate the number 60 quite prominently throughout the year, online and through a series of tailored events. Perhaps you were there for the School’s foundation or just joining us now. When we add all the years in between, we have every right to be incredibly proud of the Westminster spirit that continues to shine and grow.
It was vision, purpose, courage and conviction that underpinned the remarkable achievements of our Founders and all who played a part to breathe life into Westminster over the past 60 years. From the outset, our Founders’ commitment and purpose gave the School its strong sense of community. Westminster School’s sixth Principal Simon Shepherd has set this year’s School theme as to live with purpose. Our Founders did just that, aspiring to make the School a reality. Over the past six decades, our extraordinary community has led the way to become the school of choice for many families, this year around 1200 boys and girls from Early Learning to Year 12. We pay tribute to this legacy by investing and preparing Westminster for the benefit of our current and future students.
We are grateful for the inspiring stories and insights that make up our vibrant and rich history. Perhaps yours is one of them or maybe it is yet to be written. This is a year of celebrating 60 years of Westminster with our School community. Please join with us as we honour our past while writing our next exciting chapter in a wonderful story that is still very much a work in progress.