Stories From The Archives – 1931 – A Little Dullness Will Do Them No Harm

Our School has a wonderful history and many stories that our community is deeply connected to. As we celebrate our 125 Year Anniversary, we invite you to step back in time through some of the many stories that make up life at St Catherine’s.

“Parents, may I ask for your co-operation and help in keeping the children simple and natural, especially in dress and forms of amusement. Let us see to it that the girls of 13 and 14 have their heritage of girlhood.

No girl while at school should be at parties after 12 o’clock. Why are they so restless and nervy? It is not the school work that is to blame, it is because added to their school life, with its sports and its lessons (which means so much mental effort), there is the social life of bridge parties and dances, all too exciting for the girls, making the school dull and monotonous by contrast.

What is the result.’ Girls of 13, like early barley, blossom too soon. I feel that I must insist on this matter, and if it comes to my knowledge that any of the St Catherine’s girls are going to too many parties, and if I hear that they are at these parties after 12 o’clock. I will have to ask for their removal.

The children will understand when you are firm, and they will turn their minds to simpler pleasures when they find they are not allowed to participate in the more advanced excitements that are doing them so much harm.

Can you put a ban upon the pictures? They are harmful in their influence. The names of the films are sufficient to put us on our guard. The boarders, for years, have not been allowed to see any picture except an occasional educational film. Dress has a great influence upon character, and today we see children dressing like the grownups in long, flowing skirts. It seems like playing at ladies but it has a deeper significance, it makes the children feel older, and they want to act like adults.

There is such little time to be carefree. Remember, we are training these girls for life, the life of womanhood and perhaps motherhood let them keep their spring and buoyancy, they will lose it all too soon if we are not careful.”

Miss Ruth Langley, Principal, St Catherine's School, 1931 School Annual Report