|14 Apr 2023|
|From the Archives|
As a school, we have traditionally acknowledged Founders’ Day on 20 April each year. This date is derived from the minutes of the PLC Council, dated 20 April 1922, which record that PLC Beecroft opened with 13 pupils under the care of Mrs Eleanor Linck. While it has always been acknowledged that 20 April was unlikely to be the exact date the school first opened its doors, Founders’ Day, in the absence of other historical sources, this date was adopted because the School was definitely in existence at that time.
Fast forward to 2021 and while researching in our Archives for our Centenary publication, The Spirit of Arden, our Archivist uncovered copies of The Messenger, the newspaper of the Presbyterian Church. The 24 March 1922 edition of this newspaper featured two advertisements for a school established under the auspices of the PLC Council that was to open in Beecroft on 28 March 1922. In addition, one of these advertisements stated that “Mrs Link, an experienced teacher in Australian and English schools”, had been appointed the teacher-in-charge.
Further to this, the 9 February 1923 edition of The Messenger included a transcript of Mrs Linck’s 1922 Speech Day address. She began her address by stating
“It is barely nine months since March the 28th when I opened the School in the Presbyterian Church hall, with 13 names on the roll…”
These sources therefore suggest that our School actually welcomed its first students on 28 March 1922, not 20 April as has been acknowledged until now.
Consequently, Founders’ Day will now be commemorated on 28 March, to accurately reflect our living history. This is not the first time in our School’s history that we have rewritten our story as historical sources have come to light. In 1975, we celebrated our Golden Jubilee. Believeing that Arden commenced in 1925, not 1922 as we now know, the Jubilee was celebrated with much fanfare three years late.