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Churchie's history

Churchie’s rich history and longstanding traditions date back to 1912 when William Perry French Morris founded the school at Toowong, before relocating to the present site in East Brisbane in 1918.

In his first address to parents, Canon Morris stated his aim was to ‘train characters as well as minds’. He encouraged boys to take part in physical activity as well as their studies.

Early in 1913 the school’s name was changed to The Cathedral School following a move to new premises at St John’s Cathedral in the city where 33 boys finished the year.

Numbers continued to grow and in 1916 with an enrolment of 106 students and the name changed to Church of England Grammar School, a decision was made to purchase land to build a new school. In 1917 the foundation stone was laid on the site where Churchie stands today.
Since 1912 thousands of young men have been educated at Churchie prior to taking their places as well-rounded men and responsible, contributing members of society represented in all walks of life.
 Viking heritage

Of all of the signs and symbols that have become synonymous with Churchie over the years, St Magnus, the Viking saint, is one of the most enduring.

Canon Morris based the school’s ethos on the patron saint, St Magnus, a Viking Earl known for his Viking strength of character and his qualities as an educated man with a Christian nature. Churchie’s four tenets of academic excellence, personal development, spiritual awareness and service, build on the characteristics and attributes displayed by St Magnus.

The boys and young men of Churchie are surrounded by St Magnus’ presence every day. References are found everywhere on the Churchie campus and in Churchie culture, including Magnus Hall, Magnus House and the St Magnus statue in Magnus Quad. Also there is the Viking Café, The Viking yearbook and an honourary term for Churchie Old Boys at 70 years of age—Vintage Vikings. On their first day of Reception, our youngest boys are invited to look up at the Chapel roof, which is an inverted Viking ship, and imagine they are about to set sail on the Churchie voyage.

The school crest features the Viking battleaxes, which are crossed to convey self-sacrifice. In choosing St Magnus as patron saint, Churchie’s founder Canon Morris ensured that all students who pass through the school are inspired by the faith and conviction of St Magnus, a man who rejected a life of violence and privilege to give himself to the service of others.

Historic Publications

The Field of Honour

The story of the Old Boys and staff who died serving their country.
The School Council commissioned The Field of Honour to capture the all too brief life and time of these men so that there would be a permanent historical record of who they were and what they did.
Emboldened to serve as best they could, each of them has a story worth preserving. Each left a family and, in many cases, young wives and children to do what they believed to be their duty. The book is their collective story. Orders can be placed online here

A Pictorial History of Churchie: Celebrating 100 Years of Old Boys

This book creates a pictorial and chronological journey of the history of Churchie from 1912 to now. Featuring almost one thousand images, some never before seen, it is sure to evoke treasured memories and restore previously forgotten ones across many generations of Old Boys. Orders can be placed online here




The Making of Men

A History of Churchie 1912 to 1986.

Commissioned by the School Council for the 75th anniversary of Churchie, The Making of Men reveals that the school has had a long and impressive history from the day it was founded in 1912. The book explores the stages of growth, the move of location to East Brisbane, the beginning of the Great Public Schools association and onto the hardships of World War II. It is a cherished reflection of the colourful and complex history of what it took to create today's Churchie and the story behind our motto 'the making of men'. 


Churchie's Centenary Register and Portrait

This set of books, marking the centenary of Churchie, explore Churchie's history and record certainly not all the facts, but rather the significant facts of Churchie's first one hundred years. They are books to be consulted rather than read.

The portrait tells the story of Morris' early struggles and his gradual triumph in building a great school on a frugal platform. Both books are stories that are always interesting and at times profoundly moving.