Brown House History

Brown House was established in 1941 and named after Mr Stanley G. Brown, M.A.,B.Sc., the first Principal of Wolaroi College following its sale to the Methodist Church in 1925.

Mr Brown took up duties on Monday 8 February 1926 at the beginning at what has been called ‘The Methodist Period’ (1926-1974), coming with very high credentials as a scholar and teacher from Brisbane Boys’ College. The curriculum was very wide and reflected Mr Brown’s belief in equipping the individual for his subsequent life. Despite its small staff, it was possible to give instruction in book-keeping and business methods, typing, woolclassing and stud management, horticulture and orchardry as well as the more common school subjects. Mr Brown also promoted physical health. Provision was made for this with the laying down of two tennis courts and two concrete cricket wickets. The School made rapid progress and the enrolments in these first five years rose from 42 to 93 students (21 to 81 boarders).

The school continued to grow until the effects of the depression hit Orange and enrolments began to drop. In October 1927, Mr Brown created the Old Boys’ Association which linked Wolaroi College to Wolaroi Grammar and Weymouth House. In 1928, the Old Boys’ Association purchased ten acres of land adjoining the school and presented this land to the school. The enrolments continued to drop, but at the end of 1932 however, Mr Brown, showing a fine appreciation of educational needs, was able to gain the School Council’s approval for the appointment of an Agricultural Instructor to the Teaching Staff. In doing so, he showed that serious attention had been given to the interests the boys coming from the land who were destined to return to rural occupations. Agricultural classes were formed and boys received both theoretical and practical instruction in crop-growing, horticulture, livestock, dairying, poultry-keeping, bee-keeping and engineering.

In 1934, increased enrolments made possible a further addition to the staff which from then on was to consist of the Headmaster and five assistants until the end of the 1939-45 war. In 1938, another purchase of land was made (total just under 50 acres). This meant that there was ample room for sports fields and practical agriculture.

In 1940, Mr Brown returned to Brisbane Boys College. A letter of appreciation to Stanley G. Brown from the Council of Wolaroi College at the end of his term as Headmaster stated that ‘The College had indeed been fortunate in having as its first Headmaster a man of Mr Brown’s scholarship, business acumen, enthusiasm and influence.’

In 1956 the Memorial Entrance Gates were unveiled. They are named the Stanley G. Brown Memorial Entrance Gates in honour of Mr Brown who died in August, 1953.