THIS photograph is of boarders at St Johns Hostel, Armidale taken in 1937.
Back row: F R Allen (Warden), W (Bill) Peters, - McGlauchlan, I Thompson, H Conway, R (Bob) McLean, R (Bob) Jack, J S Keogh, B (Barry) Cook, K (Ken) Bowman, C (Colvin) Churches, D (David) Marr, - Morrison, L (Laurie) Barnes, B (Bruce) McKenzie, - McRae, S (Stauby) Baker Third row: D Spencer, J B Ivor, Bruce-Smith, W (Wal) Sabine, - Godfrey, J (Jim) Munro, D Hall, J (Canary) Woodhouse, H (Harry) Freame, I (Ian) Ferris, R Crawford, J (Jack) Thompson, C (Charlie) Sourri, J (Jim) Morrison, D Ferris, C (Chicka) Henderson. Second row: E (Edward) King, M (Max) Virtue, A (Austin) Kimball, B (Basil) Virtue, K (Ken) Wall, J (John) Millett, F Kerr, - Roper, Canon Dickens, Matron, Dr Drummond, R (Bob) Gray, R L Waugh, R (Ross) Clark, P (Peter) Capel, W (Wal) Samuels, R (Rex) Hobden, - McGee. Front row: R (Ron) Green, M (Malcolm) Hawke, I A (Ian) Clarke, A (Allan) Gray, J (John) Hays, A G Thomas, N (Norm) Melick, D Hays, J Rolands, A J Jameson, D Dowe, J E (Jas) Barnes, A R Keohan, C R (Clinga) Gibson, R (Ron) Gray.
I have not had time to check my facts, so I am relying on memory.
Around 1898 St John's College was established in Armidale to train priests for the Anglican Church. A new building was built for the College not far from the Bishops' private residence on the southern edge of Armidale. In the 1920s, the College was shifted to Morpeth in the Hunter Valley.
Following the College's move, St John's became a boarding hostel for boys attending Armidale High School. The hostel closed as the need for boarding declined. Today, St John's has become the prep school for the adjoining New England Girls' School.
Ian Clarke was a boarder at St John's in the 1930s. The Armidale Express records his reminiscences:
"St Johns was next door to NEGS on the road south out of town.
Although impossible, one wonders, how many of these boys are still with us. Many came from surrounding districts such as Uralla, Walcha, Inverell, Glen Innes, Guyra, Bendemeer, Bundarra and as far away as Grafton. All attended Armidale High School.
From a failing memory I recall that Cleave (Clinga) Gibson, Bruce McKenzie and McRae came from Walcha and Uralla. Ross Clark from Bendemeer, Ken Bowden Bundarra and Harry Freame Kentucky.
Harry’s father was a secret service agent in World War 1. Basil, Max Virtue and Jim Munro were from Inverell and R L Waugh possibly from Guyra. Wal Sabine, Ivor – Bruce – Smith and myself, Ian Clarke were from Grafton and travelled up through Nymboida and Tyringham in the large touring coaches operated by Woodward and Purkiss.
And that is as far as I can make my brain reveal.
As for myself, I spent 44 years in the banking profession interrupted by four and a half years service in the second AIF.
Now heading for 84 years and married to a wonderful woman for over 60 years I am the proud father of four, grandfather of eight and great grandfather of six.
Would it not be a wonderful thing if some others could be found."