In 1912, on behalf of Murray Bridge, the Hon. J. Cowan (later Sir), approached the Education Department with the request that a High School with an Agricultural base be established.
On January 20, 1913 the new Secondary School at Murray Bridge (then called a Continuation School) was opened. It was attached to Murray Bridge Primary School, being situated in one room of that school. It opened with 25 students as a first year class, whose parents were obliged to sign an agreement to keep students at school for at least one year.
In 1920 a small school of three rooms and office was built in Beatty Terrace and under more favourable conditions the school grew in numbers. A spirit of pride in their own school became evident among the students.
In 1932 the House System was started, the school being divided into three Houses – Barker, Murray and Sturt. This was created to stimulate competition in scholastics and sport within the school. Due to the increasing enrolment of students, Hindmarsh was added as the fourth House in 1961.
In 1972, Murray Bridge High School moved to the present site in Lohmann Street.
In a very short time it became obvious that the new site did not allow sufficiently for the growth of the school so over the next few years transportables and Demac buildings were situated on site. During the 70s and the 80s the school grew both in student numbers and also with new buildings. A new Gymnasium and Music Suite were added and the Drama facilities were redeveloped.
The colour system was introduced in order to raise the quality of pastoral care within the school. The Prefect system was revamped leading to the setting up of the Student Representative Council, the Senior Ball became an annual feature and school musicals continued on a yearly basis. The Aboriginal Education programme commenced.
During the late 90s six new Science laboratories were opened together with upgrades to the Front Office, Administration Centre, Student Services Office, Counsellors Centre and Resource Centre. Pathways for students in the senior years developed allowing students to gain knowledge and experience in Retail and Commerce, Automotive, building and Construction, Furniture Industry, Dairy, Engineering Pathways and Hospitality and Tourism. MBHS enterprise flourished with a cross-curricular venture involving Home Economics preserving fruit, making jams, sauces and chutneys from produce grown by the Agriculture students. The Science students prepared the jars and IT the labels.
In 1997 the Murraylands Aquatic Centre was annexed to MBHS. At the time it employed 14 instructors and offered a variety of programs available to the students.
From 2001 - 2010 the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program was introduced and a Ngarrindjeri language course was developed. New facilities including dedicated Information Technology rooms, an Industrial kitchen and Cafeteria/training restaurant, an Automotive and Polymer Skills Centre and a Trade Training Centre were opened. More developments in the second decade included new lifts, 4 Language laboratories and the rolling out of the Federal Government’s digital Education Revolution. Both the school Canteen and the Resource Centre underwent redevelopment.
This is but a snapshot of Murray Bridge High School over the past 100 years. We have tried to acknowledge the many opportunities that have been provided for the students of the school over many years including school musicals, formals, music performances, exchange programs, the Pedal Prix, trips abroad, school camps, school sporting programs and so much more. If you would like more information about this period you may wish to purchase one of the limited number of Centenary books still for sale from the Student Services Office.
The original school badge was introduced by Mr A.R. Hilton. The badge was designed in the form of a horseshoe with “Labor omnia vincit” inscribed thereon as the school motto. The words “Murray Bridge” and the initials D.H.S in the centre marked it as the badge of the Murray Bridge District High School.
This was completely changed in 1934 when a new badge was adopted. The design was the result of a competition among staff and students. It included the Lamp of Learning on the open Book of Knowledge, surrounded by the Laurel Wreath of Achievement with an encircling belt with the school’s name. Underneath on a scroll is inscribed the school motto, “Sic itur ad astra” translated as ‘thus you shall go...to the stars’ to mean ‘Those who excel thus reach the stars’. In 2001 the Ngarrindjeri words were added - ‘Ngunangk tuldar witjunggildhur toran’ meaning Together we gather the stars’. During the next decade another small change added the school’s values of ‘Excellence, Respect and Working Together’ to the logo.