Toowoomba Grammar School in the GPS Association

Toowoomba Grammar School was founded in 1875 as a school for both dayboys and boarders. At the initial full-day athletics carnival held at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground in September 1918, a Toowoomba Grammar student, Henry Ronald (Roy) ‘Copper’ Kent, won the Open long-jump event. He was later to be a Queensland representative in Rugby Union and the Deputy Chairman of the Toowoomba Grammar School Board of Trustees (1958-1971). Up until 1918 the inter-school sporting contests for Toowoomba Grammar School were by arrangement, mostly with Ipswich Grammar School and Brisbane Grammar School. An unofficial GPS 1st XI cricket premiership could be claimed in 1918 but had “unofficial” status because Toowoomba Grammar School did not formally enter the GPS Association until 1924.

Toowoomba Grammar School first played Brisbane Grammar School in Rugby in 1887 but it was not until 1920 that TGS defeated BGS in Rugby. Rugby League became the dominant sport in Queensland between 1920 and 1928 and Toowoomba Grammar School and other schools followed suit. In 1920 in the 1st XI Cricket, both Toowoomba Grammar School opening batsmen scored a century in a record opening partnership against Brisbane Grammar School.

Toowoomba Grammar School won several GPS Premierships at this time – 1923 GPS Rugby League (unofficial) Premiership, Co-Premiers in Rugby League in 1924, a GPS Cricket Premiership also in this year (and in 1932)  and a GPS Rugby Premiership in 1930 and Co-Premiers in 1932. In 1924 a highlight was student Graham ‘Singy’ Myles running 10.1 seconds for the 100 yards. It was a GPS record for approximately 40 years. In 1932 a highlight as part of the TGS GPS Cricket Premiership was a double century (219 not out) by Jim Maddern playing against The Southport School in the first double century ever secured for the School. Toowoomba Grammar School declared at one wicket down for 365 in this match. Toowoomba Grammar School has over the years been regarded as fielding strong cricket teams. In the 1930’s GPS Cricket Premierships were gained in 1932, 1933 and 1936. The School was also renowned for its success in Cricket in the 1980s with GPS Cricket Premierships being achieved in 1986, 1987, 1988 (and 1990) and remains highly competitive to this day.

An outdoor swimming pool was built on the School’s grounds in 1924 and the School won the GPS Swimming Premiership for the first time in the School’s history in 1935. A resurgence of success in Swimming occurred after 2010 with the construction of a new indoor Aquatic Centre.

In the 1940’s we saw a remarkable period of success in Tennis. ‘Unofficial’ GPS Premierships in Tennis (due to an incomplete season during the war years) were secured by TGS in 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944 and 1945.  GPS Premierships in Tennis continued in 1946, 1947, 1948 (Co-premiers), 1949 and 1952. A shared GPS Tennis Premiership was achieved in 1957 with the Toowoomba Grammar School 1st Tennis team being captained by Alan Jones, later to be an Australian media personality and Australian Rugby Union Coach.

The School certainly enjoyed the year 1948 with its 1st XV Rugby team being undefeated GPS Premiers. It is often argued that this team was the most successful XV in the School’s history. The 1st XV also was Co-Premiers in the GPS Rugby competition in 1954 when, for the first time in the history of the GPS competition, four schools shared the Premiership. Another GPS Rugby shared Premiership was gained in 1956.

In the 1950’s Toowoomba Grammar School demonstrated success in GPS Shooting for the Stephenson Cup with a Premiership in 1955 and the team being placed first in Australia and GPS Shooting Premierships again being won in 1956 and 1958.

The 1970’s were characterised by highly impressive performances by Toowoomba Grammar School Track and Field athletes. The School won the GPS Track and Field Championship in 1971 and 1972 and second placings in 1973, 1974 and 1978. In 1975 the School’s Captain of Athletics, John Cox, ran a 21.4 seconds 200 metres – at the time, the fastest time ever recorded over that distance by a Queensland schoolboy athlete.

Throughout the School’s history it has been known for the TGS students’ enthusiastic participation in the GPS Association of Queensland’s sporting competition. This participation has provided generations of Toowoomba Grammarians with a rich and positive memory and the School looks forward to the next 100 years of outstanding participation and the pursuit of excellence.