Co-ed schools, free love, and suicide clubs


Guildford Grammar First XI (1900)

With the news that Guildford Grammar is going co-ed, we feel it is only fair to warn the school of the potential dangers. At least, the dangers outlined at a lecture in the nearby Midland Town Hall in 1928.

Miss E. Stafford Miller had returned to Australia after spending twenty-five years in the United States. What she had seen of co-educational schools over there sent shivers down her spine:

The lecturer drew a lurid picture of the effect of the Modernist movement in the United States. “The youth of America is in revolt.” There were night clubs, and suicide clubs, dancing and all manner of clubs, where every kind of passion was indulged, while one of the greatest evils in existence was the co-educational schools where the elder youth of both sexes fraternised, and free love was discussed as an ordinary topic of conversation, so that the young men and young women asked themselves “Why undertake the responsibility of marriage?”

The lecturer concluded with a fervent appeal to those present to hold fast to the traditions of their fathers, and with all their might, mind and strength oppose any and every effort to introduce the co-educational school and any institution subversive of the moral interests of the race.

Dear teachers at GGS, don’t you have the moral interest of the race at heart? We must stop this madness now before one of your students dances.

When UWA students were naughty

Not overstated at all. Not one bit.

Not overstated at all. Not one bit.

You may recall that a couple of years ago UWA students got into serious trouble for racist jokes in the guild newspaper, PROSH. Hardly the first time student humour was controversial. Won’t be the last either.

Today, we look back to 1931, when the student rag, then called Sruss Sruss, also managed to caused outrage. The editor was Griff Richards, who later went on to edit the West Australian. So it didn’t exactly destroy his career.

Unfortunately, the Dodgy Perth research team has not managed to uncover a copy of this infamous publication. UWA doesn’t appear to have one, and the State Library has lost theirs. There may not be any other copies left.

All we are left with is one joke about a Professor Ross, who taught physics and maths, not being able to have any more children because he’d lost the formula. Hysterical, eh?

And one rather weak poem:

She was only a sportsman’s daughter,
She lived besides the mill:
There were otters in the water,
But she was otter still.

Well, Prof Ross didn’t find these funny, and he rapidly became an enemy of the guild, Sruss Sruss, and its editor.

The week the newspaper was printed, UWA students had not helped their cause by going upstairs at His Majesty’s armed with rotten crayfish, eggs and vegetables. Then proceeded to throw these at the audience below, forcing the curtain to come down and the play to be abandoned.

At first, there was only a small piece in the West Australian about this scandal. But then the Sunday Times had a slow news week. Sruss Sruss, it decided, was the worst thing since Hitler would be a few years later, and it had to be stopped now.

The University authorities, backed by Prof Ross, panicked and fined everyone involved, and ordered every copy of the newspaper to be pulped. They also expelled Griff Richards for one year.

In fact, the Guild went further, and burnt every copy of Sruss Sruss they could lay their hands on.

Kids today, eh? Don’t know they’re born.

Something on the Internet is wrong

Not exactly,  Master Jones

Not exactly right, Master Jones

Kids at Guildford Grammar School, next time a teacher tells you off for just cutting and pasting from the internet without checking your sources, tell them that the school has just done exactly that.

The above poster, near the Mt Lawley underpass, has an inspirational quote from Benjamin Franklin. Well, almost from Ben.

Or, to be more exact, it’s not a quote from Benjamin Franklin at all. He never said it. Or anything like it.

The closest thing to this quote is from a 1966 educational book, although some people like to find its origin with the Chinese Confucian philosopher Xunzi (312-230 BC). However, since Xunzi wasn’t translated into English until the 20th century, Mr Franklin could not have been familiar with it.

But, if you rely on for your research, you will find it incorrectly attributed to Ben there.

So kids, now you know. Passing off a quick Google as research is fully approved by your teachers. Go for it.

UPDATE: The school responds here.