St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace in the GPS Association

Terrace joined the GPS in 1919, competing in swimming, gymnastics and cricket, winning both the gymnastics and swimming premierships that year.  Rugby, tennis and rowing were to join in subsequent years.  Through the 1920s and 1930s Terrace was a small school compared to the other GPS schools, which had the larger numbers that came with boarding school facilities.

After a brief period of growth in the late 1920s, which saw Terrace compete in the 1928 Head of the River and the building of Terrace’s own swimming pool, sport slowed in the 1930s with the onset of the depression.  The entire GPS Swimming competition was cancelled in 1938 due to an infantile paralysis outbreak.  The 1940s saw the impact of the Second World War on GPS sport, with 1942 seeing almost no competition.  The 1950s was a period of rebuilding and Terrace strengthened its competitive participation as student numbers began to grow.

Swimming celebrated its halcyon years with eight premierships during the 1950s.  Cricket saw its first premiership in 1952, swiftly followed by tennis in 1955. The 1960s saw the re-introduction of Terrace into the gymnastics competition and the sporting fields at Tennyson, which are now synonymous with Terrace, were purchased and painstakingly prepared by the Christian Brothers, teachers and parents to provide excellent facilities for the boys to train and compete.

The 1970s saw rugby take the limelight, winning its first premiership since 1929 in 1977.  Rugby then went on to win four more premierships through to 1981.  This period of time saw many Terrace gentlemen launch careers in international rugby.  Terrace has always been proud of its moniker as the nursery for the Wallabies, seeing several playing greats don the green and gold.

The late 80s saw the introduction of football, which in 2017 saw Terrace as the highest participating school in the GPS competition. The 1990s and 2000s have seen Terrace field strong teams across the GPS competitions.

In the cultural field, Terrace competed in its first debate in 1929 and was associated with the GPS in the 1940s and 50s but didn’t have a place in the GPS competition until 1953.  Terrace gained its first premiership in 1976 and has enjoyed many successes in debating, both QDU and GPS since.  In 2017 Terrace had its highest ever student numbers.  Many Terrace debaters have gone on to become Rhodes Scholars and successful lawyers.

Chess was first trialed in 1994 and has gained in popularity and strength over the years.  This enthusiasm is also seen in GPS Music, with large numbers of Terrace musicians participating in the showcase of exceptional talent every year.

The future looks bright for Terrace with greater emphasis on training and professional coaches, camps, clinics and state of the art facilities.  It is a far cry from the leather boots and woollen shorts of 1918 but advances like these ensure the future of GPS is safe and competition and comradery will continue for 100 more years, and beyond.