Fact Sheet - 1915-1957 - "Beginnings"
Early South Coast residents and a Southport State School committee lobbied for better education for their children and secondary classes at Southport State School.
In 1915, MLA Mr Appell, Committee Chair Mr Andrews and Committee Treasurer/Shire Chairman Mr Freeman made representation to the Minister for Education, Mr. Hardacre.
Inspector for Department of Public Instruction Mr Gripp assessed need and recommended a high school "top" at Southport State School in Scarborough Street.
An entrance test held on 26th February 1916 and 30 pupils approved for enrolment.
Classes began on July 10, 1916 - in Auction Mart rooms, across the road from Southport State School's front gate. (Auction Mart rent - one pound a week.) Some students travelled each day from Coolangatta and Coomera, by train.
First teacher was Miss Dorothy Denniss BA. In 1916 most staff female, as many men applied for and received "leave without pay" to join Army fighting in "The Great War" 1914-1918.
Early 1917, high "top" moved into Southport State School premises, but sharing a room with a primary class! Distractions! Head Teacher – Mr. Hibbard
1922 – Vocational classes (woodwork, cooking, dressmaking, commercial subjects) began.
1920's – classroom conditions below par; 1927 onwards – requests to separate high school from primary school.
1939 – 1945: World War II – school yard air raid trenches, exercises extinguishing incendiary devises, pranks of false siren alerts.
1954-1955 financial year - Fifty-seven thousand, one hundred and thirteen pounds government funding allocated for new Southport high school.
Twenty-four acres of land acquired at Musgrave Hill.
1955 – Progressive relocation of classes to Smith Street campus
Principal, Mr Lewis, "guided the fledgling through the first years".
First S.S.H.S. Speech Night on December 6, 1955, in Diggers' Hall
Official Opening of S.S.H.S. by Hon J C A Pizzey - 26th October 1957
School Motto: " Respice Finem - We look to the end result " – "fitting testament to the vision and dedication of the legion of local people, who, over many years, dreamed of and worked for SSHS to come to fruition".
Fact sources: SSHS 75TH Anniversary Publication