PAC 150 Book Launched

We are delighted to announce that PAC Old Scholar, Mr Rob Linn, has been commissioned to produce a special 250-page coffee table style publication to celebrate momentous occasion of our 150th Anniversary,

Already the research undertaken for this publication has revealed that Prince Alfred College, and its people, are rich and boundless sources of stories of innovation, resilience, inspiration, discovery and triumph.

Unique and important records have been unearthed from the College archives and also sourced from widespread networks across the community from key people associated with the College over many decades.

This publication is not aimed at replicating or extending the invaluable works previously undertaken for the College by the late R.M. Gibbs. Instead, the finished product will be more of a stroll down memory lane in the company of rare photos, intriguing documents and fascinating vignettes that chronicle the full and flourishing 150 years of PAC.  A brief decade by decade overview will also be incorporated into the book with the combined result providing a remarkable and intimate snapshot of College life.

The book comes in both a (limited) Premium Edition and a standard Classic Edition.

The leather bound Premium Edition is presented in a box slip cover with Sesquicentenary. There are only 150 copies of the Premium Edition each of which are individually numbered also come with a unique Sesquicentenary bookmark.

The Classic Edition is a hardcover half bound special edition with a maximum print run of 1,000 ensuring this too will be a coveted memento of our Sesquicentenary year.

Early bird pricing is available for orders made prior to 30th September 2018. The book will be released in July 2019.

Click below to view or download the order form for PAC150 book

150 Book Order Flyer – Final


Peek at Sesquicentenary programme

A sesquicentenary ‘Sneak Peek’ event was held in the Prince Philip Theatre on Thursday 19 July to reveal the 150th Anniversary logo and website.

Invited guests were greeted by South Australia’s Town Crier, Mr Tom Benney, who heralded formal proceedings and introduced ‘the ethereal spirit of the Princes Man’ (as performed by PAC student Angus Brill-Reid) who shared his ‘memories’ of his time at the College back in the 1860’s.

PAC Headmaster, Mr Bradley Fenner, revealed the thoughts behind the design of the Sesquicentenary Logo which will be feature prominently on stationery, marketing collateral and at activities and events throughout 2019.

Sesquicentenary Chair, Mr Colin Dunsford AM, provided attendees with details of the many exciting events that will be undertaken throughout the anniversary year.

Billboard Spreads the Word

An eye-catching giant billboard will be revealed on Friday 22 July to spread the word about Prince Alfred College’s forthcoming Sesquicentenary. Situated on the outside of the Early Learning Centre and facing The Parade West the billboard features both an historic sepia image of the College as well as a modern day visage of the main building in all its glory.

A similar image is also on display at the front of the College grounds along Dequetteville Terrace.

The image fits well with the ‘then and now’ focus that will feature across the Sesquicentenary celebrations and will certainly play a vital part in reminding the public that Prince Alfred College has been educating boys since 1869.

A range of Sesquicentenary merchandise and promotional collateral will also be released later this year.

Prince Edward Unveils Sesquicentenary Plaque

A large crowd of cheering, flag waving, highly excited people were on hand on Wednesday 18 April 2018 to take part in a visit to the College by His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO.

The Earl was welcomed by students from across all levels of the school from the Early Learning Centre through to the Year 12 College Captain and Vice Captains, with even the Vacation Care children taking the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Royalty.

His Royal highness took the time to meet members of the College Community gathered for the visit before undertaking formalities including the unveiling of a marble plaque to commemorate the forthcoming 150th Anniversary of Prince Alfred College.

During his tour of the College, His Royal Highness, who is the Chair of the Trustees of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, inspected displays from participants of the local Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Units and enjoyed the chance to meet as many program participants and coordinators as possible.

The displays, undertaken by Christian Brothers College, Scotch College, SA Army Cadets, Walford Anglican School for Girls, Westminster School, Bowden Brompton Community School and Prince Alfred College were set up on the front oval and in Piper Pavilion and provided a snapshot of activities undertaken in the course of securing Duke of Edinburgh’s Award medals.


This included demonstrations and photographs of camping trips, overseas community service pilgrimages, musical ensembles, reading assistance programs and vehicle restorations for Salvation Army international assistance.  Attendees were also able to purchase refreshments form a coffee-van designed and built as an award project.

Also joining the festivities were participants in PAC’s annual hosting of the Children’s University Australia Program, an international partner of Children’s University Trust (UK) and managed by the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The students, attending from Northfield Primary School, were excited to join their PAC peers in providing an enthusiastic audience for the Royal visitor.

The PAC school band were a highlight of the day providing HRH with a welcome fanfare on arrival and keeping the audience entertained throughout the day.

Following speeches from College Council Chair, Mr John Keeves and Headmaster Mr Bradley Fenner, the Earl deftly unveiled the Sesquicentenary marble plaque bearing his name and then penned a very special entry in the PAC visitors book before departing for his next engagement – of which there were a total of 32 across his visit to Australia.

150th Anniversary of PAC Foundation Stone

PAC celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the laying of the College Foundation Stone on Sunday 5 November 2017 with a Garden Party and Market Stalls on the picturesque Front Oval.

Official proceedings acknowledging the historical significance of this date took place from 2.00pm – 3.00pm – directly mirroring the date and time of the original laying of the foundation stone by HRH Prince Alfred, The Duke of Edinburgh in 1867.

Over 300 attendees took party in the celebrations which saw Professor. Brenda Wilson, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, unveil a commemorative plaque to acknowledge this historic milestone.

Special Guest Speaker, Mr Steve Harris, author of the recently release book ‘The Prince and The Assassin’ provided some interesting insight on HRH Prince Alfred’s visit to Australia in 1867.

Marking 150 Years since PAC Land was Purchased

Between 18 September 2015 and the end of 2019, Prince Alfred College will hold a series of events to mark the 150th anniversaries of the landmark occasions in the beginning of the school. These include: the purchase of the College land (18 September 1865), the laying of the Foundation Stone by Prince Alfred (5 November 1867), the opening of the school (January 1869) and the opening of the main building (June 1869).

Headmaster, Mr Bradley Fenner said, “These events will provide opportunities for celebrating our rich heritage and history and the contribution of so many individuals over the last 150 years to the prosperity and growth of Prince Alfred College. At the same time, this is a time for planning for our future directions.”

The whole school came together on Friday 18 September to celebrate the first of these occasions – 150 years to the day that the college land was purchased.

On 8 September 1865, advertisements began to appear for the sale of a large piece of land, part of section 255, not far from Kent Town Wesleyan Church. Auctioneers Townsend, Botting and Kay appealed to capitalists, speculators and others, calling special attention to the property:

“It is the largest block so near to Town now on the market. It is admirably situated on a commanding situation, with a magnificent view over the East Park Lands. The soil is first class, the water is good, and the locality is unquestionably the best near Adelaide. The land adjoins the property so well known as the residence of the late Dr Kent, and if divided into villa sites would ensure a speedy and advantageous sale.”

The auction for the land was set down for midday, 18 September, 1865. At a meeting only two hours prior to the auction, called by John Watsford (the first Australian born Wesleyan Minister) at the Wesleyan Book Depot, with two fellow ministers and eight laymen – it was decided to bid for the land. They would determine the best site for a school on the land and then sell the remainder when they thought best.

Thomas Waterhouse promised a loan to purchase the land. He would advance the purchase money and hold the land as security for payment of principal and interest. This enabled Watford and his supporters to begin to realise the dream of planning and building a College.

Thomas Waterhouse had become a successful businessman. Upon moving from Yorkshire to South Australia in 1840, Waterhouse became a merchant grocer (on the list of ‘shop-keeping nobodies’). He invested successfully in the Burra mine, which was sufficient enough to make him very wealthy on its own. He went on to make extensive property holdings in Adelaide and became a promoter and director of the Bank of Adelaide

Land agent George Cotton had suggested a maximum bid of £3050. In the event, the land was bought for £2750. Waterhouse advancing the money at eight percent interest and the title in his name.

The group that purchased the land continued to meet in the months following the sale. At first the ‘College Committee’ as this group had become named, intended to go ahead with the original decision to retain only five of the thirteen acres. An offer by Waterhouse to forgo a quarter of the interest if all the land was retained changed the Committee’s thinking.

And thank goodness Waterhouse made this offer, for now the College sits on a prime section of land on the edge of the Parklands but also in close proximity to the city centre.

To mark the 150th anniversary event of this event the College was addressed outdoors (on the land) in front of the iconic Main College Building by Headmaster Bradley Fenner, who gave a marvellous narrative of events leading up the land purchase and School Captain, Tim Hobbs, who outlined the beginning of a modern day time capsule project, that would conclude following final anniversary celebrations in 2019. Kaurna elder, Ivan Copley O.A.M., gave a ‘Welcome to Country’ and spoke of the significance of the Sheoak and other native tree’s, prolific in the area at the time the land was purchased.

A special area is being developed for a planting of significant trees to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the land purchase. Perhaps one of the greatest memories from the boys’ point of view, would be partaking in one of the specially made 1300 donuts with red and white icing, at the conclusion of event.