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19 July 1869 Prince Alfred College

 19 July 1869 Prince Alfred College

On 19 July 1869, after the mid-winter holidays, the boys of Prince Alfred Wesleyan College moved into their new school building on Dequetteville Terrace, Kent Town. The school actually opened on 18 January 1869 in the Pirie Street Lecture Hall with 28 boys on the roll. In 1862 a committee had been formed to prepare plans for a college, but it was not until 1865 that the land at Kent Town was purchased for £2750, although the committee did not have the money and it was lent to them by T.G. Waterhouse, a wealthy merchant, at the current interest rate of 8%. During 1867 plans were drawn up and it was decided to ask Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to lay the foundation stone when he visited Adelaide later that year. Although there was some controversy over the request to a member or the Royal family to give his name to a non-conformist college the Prince was happy to consent and laid the stone on 5 November before an enthusiastic audience.

However, because of the poor financial situation in the colony in 1867/68 building plans were curtailed and hence the decision to open the school in Pirie Street. When circumstances improved finance work proceeded again and the official opening of the central building was held on 22 June 1869, on the occasion of the anniversary of the accession of Queen Victoria. From the beginning it was decided that the religious teaching would be non-sectarian and over the years boys from all sections of society have attended the school which developed a reputation for providing a good all round education for business and professional careers.

J.F. Ward, Prince Alfred College, Gillingham & Co., Adelaide, 1951.

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