During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Trinity faced significant financial pressures which threatened to close its doors. However, generous personal loans and donations from the School’s Council Members not only aided in staff retention, but paved the way for a rich history of generosity that continues to enrich the School today.
At the beginning of the 1930s, Trinity Grammar School’s doors had been open for just 17 years, with a total of 118 day boys and 45 boarders. Still in its youth, the School had a large debt to sustain, and with parents feeling the economic pressure of the Depression, enrolments — particularly of boarders — fell significantly.
With enrolments declining and tuition payments arriving late, staff retention proved to be a challenge and salaries were inevitably reduced. It was at this time that three members of the School Council made personal financial contributions to supply funds for staff wages and other expenses. At times when the threat of closure loomed and financial assistance from Diocesan authorities waned, the personal guarantee of loans by these generous Council Members lifted this threat and invested in the School’s continuing ability to grow, sustain itself, and give back to the School community.
Claude Percival Taubman, whose family is commemorated by the School’s Taubman House and Taubman Memorial Clock, was a member of the School Council from 1928 until 1966, and had three sons educated at Trinity between 1931 and 1962. Trinity has records of approximately £6305 in interest free temporary loans from Mr Taubman between 1935 and 1940 and, in addition to his generous loans and donations, Mr Taubman — who was the Managing Director of Sterling Paint and Varnish Co — supplied paint for school buildings, fences, and signboards in 1938 at no cost.
John Anthony Young was a member of the School Council from 1931 until the year he passed away in 1960, and had four sons educated at the School between 1926 and 1944. Trinity’s records state that Mr Young provided the School with a generous £6100 in interest free temporary loans between 1936 and 1940, as well as providing one-off gifts to the prize fund for Athletics and Swimming, the donation of two cricket bats, and a generous payment of an undisclosed amount to the General Fund in 1938.
Thomas Samuel Holt was a member of the School Council from 1928 until 1938 and had five sons educated at Trinity, including Arthur B Holt who is commemorated in the name of the Arthur Holt Library at the Summer Hill campus. Mr Holt also provided interest free temporary loans according to the School’s records, amounting to £1014 in payments between 1936 and 1937.
While Trinity’s financial stability and growth has gone from strength to strength in the decades following the Depression, the generosity of those in the School community in years gone by has set the tone for the giving spirit that underpins Trinity, and continues to sow into new resources that will benefit staff and students not only today, but for generations to come.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
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