Somerville House today celebarates 119 years of history and a fine reputation of educating girls in Brisbane.
Established in 1899, the Brisbane High School for Girls was purchased by the Presbyterian & Methodist Schools Association in 1918 and moved the school from its leased premises ‘Ernton’ on Wickham Terrace to the current South Brisbane location in 1920 after purchasing ‘Cumbooquepa’.
When the school moved, it was re-named Somerville House to prevent confusion from the Brisbane State High School and in honour of Mary Somerville, “the distinguished woman scientist whose mastery of mathematics and physical science won her wide fame.”
Mary Somerville was a trail-blazing English academic and mathematician, after whom Somerville College at Oxford University was named.
This was considered an appropriate name by then co-principals Ms Harker and Miss Jarrett who strongly encouraged the intellectial advancement of women in science as well as classics.
To celebrate, Somerville House students and Old Girls came together to celebrate the school’s foundation and heritage. This year, Old Girl Melinda Zerner (Class of 1986) was the Commemoration Day guest speaker.