8th February 2021

Abbotsholme College, Killara

From Ron Cook’s collection.

An “open-air” private school from 1908-1925, it was established by John Fitzmaurice, an Irish veteran of the Boer War who believed in “progressive education.”  He believed in the “hygienic benefits of open-air life”. From 1922 it only took borders. Fitzmaurice provided scholarships to sons of soldiers who died in WW1, and, as a keen Mason,  sons of deceased Masons. William McMahon and Harold Holt attended the college. Unfortunately, Fitzmaurice died in 1924, aged only 41 years, with the school closing the following year. A suspicious fire destroyed the building soon after.

The Mirror (Sydney), 20th October 1917 page 7.

The Mirror (Sydney), 13th September 1918. Athletes of Abbotsholme College.

The Mirror (Sydney), 2nd March 1919 page 8.

The Daily telegraph (Sydney), 3rd June 1925 page 14.




2 thoughts on “8th February 2021

  1. Carol Fenselau

    Very interesting story, a great benefactor to education with a most honourable set of values. Are these buttons manufactured by an Australian company? Is the button design significant to the Fitzmaurice family crest/ birthplace or one inspired in Australia?

    1. admin Post author

      It may be a family crest, the owner of the buttons does not know. The motto on the buttons reads “virtute non verbis” which means “By deeds not by words.” Fitzmaurice was related in some way to the Marquis of Lansdowne, whose livery button has been discussed in this blog.


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