Princesses reunion

The last intake from Princess May Girls School.

A REUNION for the last-ever class of students from Fremantle’s Princess May Girls School is being held Saturday March 11. 

The reunion will be held at Clancy’s Fish Pub, the very building where the students took the last “domestic science” classes in 1956.  

Princess May Girls School was originally an all-girls college, but merged with Fremantle Boys School to form John Curtin Senior High School. 

The class of ’56 were the last intake before the amalgamation.

Carol Gimblett has been the thread keeping the class in contact and has organised several previous reunions. 

“There were about 1000 students, 60 to a class. There was no school Rockingham way; we even had girls coming from as far as Shelley,” Ms Gimblett recalled.


The school had its own annual magazine, now a time capsule of young friends beaming over their successes in basketball, softball and hockey.

Each sport had three teams, while classes included reading, writing, spelling, sewing, library, laundry and cooking. 

“In the 50s, women weren’t expected to have careers. If they did, it is because their parents could afford to. What was expected was for you to marry and produce the next generation.”

Memories of misadventures and mishaps are still fresh, such as Rhonda Burns’ famous fricassee fiasco. 

“The class were cooking lamb fricassee and nothing looks more revolting to a kid than that. Rhonda said the thought of the dish made her want to vomit, so she chucked it in the bin.”

“Then her mum came home and asked what they were having for tea. Rhonda then exclaimed to her mum that she had tripped over and that the dog ate it.

“Those sorts of things felt serious at the time, but you look back and go ‘oh, that was silly’.”

And then there was headmistress Hoad. “Anyone who went to Princess May will remember her. She was a terror. She used to scream from the top of the stairs ‘you girls are making too much noise!’. She would probably go back inside and kill herself laughing.”

With most of the former students turning 80 this year, the gathering is extra special. 

“This will be our last big meet up. Maybe we will do something big for the 85th milestone. Every year is a milestone from this point,” Ms Gimblett laughed.

Former students have been asked wear a name badge and bring along memorabilia.

The reunion runs from 11.15am.  RSVP by March 2 to Glen Green on 0414931611 or glengreen@westnet.

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