Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter-Glory Days June 2012 Contents 7/301 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay | Phone: 4954 8555
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Newcastle Grammar School
One of the longest established Schools in the region, Newcastle Grammar School has been
educating children for over 150 years and recently launched a hard cover, glossy book on its
history called From the Spirit. Excerpt below.
How the School has evolved;
TRADITIONAL VALUES WITHIN A
FORWARD THINKING ENVIRONMENT
• 1859 - A new School house was erected for Newcastle Grammar School on land granted to
the Anglicans opposite the Cathedral.
• 1918 - The Church of England Grammar School for Girls (CEGGS) was opened with 10
boarders and 28 day pupils in the former Newcastle Grammar School house.
• 1976 - Saw the transfer of administrative control
to Pittwater House where the School had
approximately 170 pupils and 15 staff. In 1992,
Pittwater transferred control of the School to an
• 1997 - Saw the purchase of Park Campus down at
Cooks Hill with the opening of the Junior School
in 1999. The site had originally been home to
Newcastle Teachers' College.
• 2009 - Mr Alan Green, celebrated 20 years as
• 2012 - The School continues to be one of the leading
independent co-educational day school with well
over 800 students from Pre-school to Year 12.
[ GLORY DAYS ]
Newcastle’s 200th birthday, but it wasn’t the string of
s organised throughout the year that would burn 1997
e minds of Novocastrians. It wasn’t even the just-
nced closure of BHP, the industry that had been the
one of the region for the best part of a century.
as the efforts of 17 battered, bruised and bloodied young
who took up the cudgels for every man, woman and
n the Hunter and gave the region the birthday party it
as the day the Newcastle Knights won their ﬁrst ARL
ydney Football Stadium where the Knights beat Manly
rytale victory, grown men cried, strangers hugged and
d and an hour after the game the stadium still rang with
s of thousands of people had lined the streets and
ay in a guard of honour as the Knights bus headed to
y, but it was nothing compared to their arrival back
- one of the most spontaneous outbursts of emotion the
s ever seen. Fans spilled onto the streets and cheered
the coach carrying the players, and outside Newcastle
rs Club fans gathered in their thousands to see the
Cup arrive, the start of a magical, unbelievable week of
days later, a victory march through Newcastle brought
00 people onto the streets for a ticker-tape parade.
e began queueing at 8am for a glimpse of their heroes,
rade kicking off at Jesmond and continuing to Civic Park
a stream of shredded paper cascading from buildings.
rs abandoned their ofﬁces to celebrate even though an
pt to have the day declared a public holiday had failed.
s 10-deep in Beaumont St, Hamilton, totalled 20,000,
hen the cavalcade reached Civic Park 80,000 people
ey say there is no such thing as a perfect day,” Knights
n Paul Harragon told the masses, “But I think Sunday
perfect day. Today is also a perfect day . . . a once-in-a-
s more unbelievable than you can ever, ever imagine,”
ation Knights’ player Stephen Crowe said. “This day will
my mind until I die.”
Even the Premier of NSW, Bob Carr, was swept up in
the euphoria: “We salute you, we extoll you and on this
memorable day in Newcastle’s history, we congratulate and
The celebrations came at the end of a tumultuous year for
rugby league, with the game split by Super League. Who would
have thought the Newcastle Knights, involved in their own
bitter turf war with the Super League Mariners for the hearts
and souls of Hunter league fans, would become the saviours
of the sport with the grand ﬁnal labelled “the game that saved
The Knights, made up of mostly local players, had never
won a premiership. Manly was full of Test players coached by
league legend Bob Fulton. They had thumped the Knights on
11 straight occasions, including a 27-12 victory just two weeks
earlier in semi ﬁnal two, which left Manly to play Sydney
City for their place in the grand ﬁnal while Newcastle had to
bounce back against North Sydney.
The Knights had struggled to beat Parramatta 28-20 in
the ﬁrst semi ﬁnal after being down 18-nil after 18 minutes,
followed by their loss to Manly in a spiteful game.
The following week against Norths it was 12-all with one
minute and 50 seconds to go when a Matthew Johns drop
goal tipped the match in Newcastle’s favour, before Owen
Craigie crossed after the bell to give Newcastle a 17-12 win, all
coming after a memorable Darren Albert chase and tackle
from the opposite wing of a runaway Matt Seers.
So Newcastle was through. The next day Manly toppled
Sydney City 17-16 to set up the grand ﬁnal everyone wanted.
But as if all the drama leading into the last Sunday in
September wasn’t enough, the Knights general, Andrew
Johns, aggrevated damaged ribs in the win over Norths and
punctured a lung, which needed to be surgically re-inﬂated
in the week before the game. He was in hospital until the
Wednesday, did not train until the Thursday and was under a
cloud until game day. He did – fatefully – get onto the ﬁeld.
Early in the match it looked like Manly would stretch its
winning run over Newcastle to 12 when they led 10-nil after 25
minutes, 16-8 at half-time and 16-10 with less than 10 minutes
to go, despite the kamikaze efforts of Newcastle captain Paul
Harragon, inspired by coach Malcolm Reilly’s whispered
18. Day of Knights
THE NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS WIN THEIR FIRST PREMIERSHIP: SEPTEMBER, 1997
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