Mr Allen McLucas was the first Australian born Principal of The Scots College.
He was a boarder and School Captain at Scots Warwick and taught for a while at Methodist Boys’ College in Stanthorpe while also studying for a Degree in English from the University of Queensland. He finished it with honours in 1936.
Mr McLucas was a good athlete who represented his school and university at tennis, cricket and rugby. He moved to teach at Brisbane Boys College in 1939 then enlisted in the Citizens Military Force in 1940 transferring to the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1942, reaching the rank of Major and serving in Dutch New Guinea and Borneo.
While stationed at Cape York, he wrote a thesis for his Master of Arts degree on Thomas Hardy. Mr McLucas returned to Brisbane Boys College from 1946 as Senior Housemaster, gained a postgraduate degree in Education in 1948, before being appointed to his first Headmaster role at Scots School, Bathurst, in May 1949.
Enrolments increased over his four years at Bathurst. McLucas impressed the visiting Principal of Scots Sydney (Mr Alexander Know Anderson) in September 1952.
- Mr McLucas established a standard, common school day of 8:55am to 3:30pm and started a School Register.
- He also launched the Teacher Trainee Fellowship to improve teaching standards and began hosting social evenings for staff and parents of new boys and ‘gatherings’ for country parents.
- In 1957 the Principal’s office moved from Aspinall House to the main school, and a new staffroom and interviewing room were set up.
- In April 1958 Mr McLucas implemented the academic testing of new students, which highlighted the need for extra support so in 1959 the Principal introduced a reading improvement program for all first formers.
- Additionally, in 1959 the old gymnasium (downstairs in the main building) was converted into two laboratories and a lecture room and work began on a northern wing to the main building.
- Mr McLucas’ great monument is the senior classroom block, on the site he suggested at the corner of Victoria Road and Ginahgulla Road. The three-floor building with ten classrooms, five laboratories, a wool-classing room, a lecture room, a library and offices was opened and dedicated as part of Founders’ Day activities on 8 February 1964 by Council Chairman Dr George Bell. The building today is now called Ginahgulla.
Did You Know?
- Mr Allen McLucas kept a keen interest in the welfare of all boys, often preferring a chat with a boy and Master over an instant punishment. He originally wanted to be an architect but was persuaded to become a teacher by his former Principal at Scots Warwick, W W V Briggs.
- Mr McLucas sometimes referred to himself as “an architect of young lives.”
- At Scots, Mr McLucas was well read, worked hard and tried to be an innovator. He was also said to be transparently honest.
- In the creative world, it was a golden period for Gilbert and Sullivan productions. The fifth College production was held in 1957 and Iolanthe was performed, followed by H M S Pinafore (1958), Pirates of Penzance (1959), The Mikado (1960), The Gondoliers (1961), Iolanthe (1962), H M S Pinafore (1963), Pirates of Penzance (1964) and The Mikado (1965).
- During Mr McLucas’ stewardship, his was challenged with curriculum development through the introduction of the Wyndham Scheme from 1962. It meant six years of secondary schooling instead of five.
- Intermediate and Leaving Examinations were replaced with a fourth year School Certificate and a sixth year Higher School Certificate and elective subjects chosen on top of core activities. The additional sixth year of secondary school was the major reason for building Ginahgulla (now repurposed as the Senior Preparatory campus).