Wesley celebrates 100 years with three new traditions

Posted February 13, 2023 in School News By Community Relations

One of our oldest living Wesleyans, Dr Joseph Walter Green (38-43) cut our birthday cake.

Every day at Wesley is special – but today was extra special, with students, staff and parents celebrating the College’s 100th birthday.


Precisely 36,525 days ago, on 13 February 1923, Wesley opened its doors for the first time, welcoming 38 boys ranging in age from nine to 16.

Back then, we weren’t entirely ready for the big day. Classrooms were missing chalk, carpenters were busy finishing off the building. Things were a little disorganised.

That’s not a mistake we were going to make twice.

Today, our 1,317 students – boys and girls aged four to 18 – were greeted by ice cream trucks, rides, inflatables, games and a cornucopia of other things that would have blown the minds of the first 38.

Of course, the fun thing about looking back is that it creates a perfect moment to look forwards too. With that in mind, Head of Wesley College, Mr Ross Barron, chose the all-school Centenary to announce three new traditions.


The ringing of the Tranby Bell

In 1829, a ship called the Tranby left England, destined for the Swan River. Aboard the ship were 57 Methodist passengers, including two Methodist Lay Ministers – Mr John Hardey and his brother Mr Joseph Hardey.

Joseph Hardey’s daughter, Miss Sarah Hardey gave the Tranby’s ship bell to Wesley in the infant years of the College’s life. Through the 1930s and 1940s, it was used to signal the beginning and end of lessons, before being retired for safe keeping in the College Archive.


Archivist Ms Lisa Perriam, with Mr Barron and the Tranby bell.


It has now been mounted on a frame made of wood from the College Chapel’s original pews and will be rung to start special events such as assemblies, speech days, valedictory assembly, special Chapel services and so on.

It will also be rung by each new student on their first day at Wesley and their last, reinforcing the message that Wesley will always be a part of each person.


The John Wesley Medal

Last year, the College recognised that we did not have an award to celebrate members of our community who have made an outstanding contribution and provided exceptional service to Wesley. People whose efforts have resulted in a significant impact over a period of time.

With that in mind, Mr Barron was delighted to launch a new award in celebration of our first 100 years – the John Wesley Award. The artwork for the John Wesley medal is inspired from medals awarded to students in 1924 and made from precious metals.


Mr Greg Brown, with Mr Barron and Mrs Patsy Russell-Lane.


The assembly also saw the announcement of our first two recipients: Mr Greg Brown, who has been President of OWCA since 2013 and Mrs Patsy Russell Lane, President of the Wesleyanas at Wesley College since 2014.


A new College anthem

In celebration of our second 100 years, the Arts Department has composed a new College anthem to celebrate not only who we are today but whom we strive to become tomorrow.

The anthem is named By Daring and By Doing. The uplifting composition will hopefully instil joy and pride into every person who makes up our diverse community.

Today’s Centenary Assembly saw the first official performance of By Daring and By Doing. It was introduced by Director of Arts, Mr Stephen Roberts, who thanked the composer for everything he’s poured into the anthem, as well as award-winning artists Ms Gina Williams and Mr Guy Ghouse who have adapted the verse into Noongar.

Year 11 Music student Richard Xu and Peripatetic Mr Adrian Kelly have arranged a symphonic orchestration of the anthem which will be recorded soon. There will also be an opportunity to hear our choir sing it at our Moorditj by Moonlight event on March 12.

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