Mr. B. Berry
Mr. Hoskin in his first eight years as Principal dedicated himself to the task of developing agricultural and general education at the school to a level whereby students may continue in the field of agriculture at the completion of their secondary education. The success of this philosophy may be gleaned by the enthusiastic selection by parents of James Ruse for the secondary education of their sons and daughters.
My appointment to the school as Deputy Principal in 1967 followed the tragic passing of Mr. Ron Rassack, the Deputy Principal appointed in 1966. Mr. Hoskin's inexorable pursuit for staff stability through continuity of service at the school had received a severe setback. Determined to mould the new Deputy Principal with as little time loss as possible, I vividly recall my first telephone call to Mr. Hoskin. The instruction was to report to his home early in January, and assist in the preparation of the timetable and complete all organisational requirements ready for the school to open on the first day of term, with a firm and final timetable and I quote, "the students and staff are most enthusiastic at the start of term I make the best use of it."
When the school opened and the students assembled in full school uniform, complete with felt hats, and were provided with their timetable and text books for the year, I realised that James Ruse, despite its youth, was now firmly established in the same mould as the older, traditional high schools.
As the students attending the school were selected from primary schools throughout the Metropolitan Area, a close personal involvement in activities and programmes was essential. The area of school involvement which the Principal viewed with in- interest and pleasure was the inter-school sporting fixtures and country school visits. The success of James Ruse sporting teams, the representation of students at higher levels and the association of students with those from country schools, particularly the Agricultural High Schools and the armed services' establishments at H.M.A.S. Creswell, Jervis Bay, and Royal Military College, Duntroon, at a competitive level assisted in consolidating the school motto "Gesta non Verba" (deeds not words).
Congratulations James Ruse Agricultural High School on your first twenty years. You are certainly the "Jimmy Ruse" school and to quote the Rugby cry, "Go Ruse" for the years to come.
Twenty years is not long in the history of a school. Much has happened at James Ruse in this time, yet much has remained unchanged. On one hand we have not lost sight of the tried and true educational principles of the past, but at the same time we are not old-fashioned. This is the way it should be.
It is reflected in our surroundings. At the heart of the school is the administration block, a fine old vintage building that helps us remember not only those who figure in the history of the country, but also the pioneers of the school. It is so easy to forget that not long ago James Ruse was little more than this one building. Set up as an annexe to Carlingford District Rural School, it had so many problems to overcome. Shortage of buildings and equipment, absence of sporting facilities and paved areas, were bad enough, but the specialist nature of the school created many more problems. However, the problems were overcome by persistent effort on the part of the headmaster, staff and students.
The effort has been a continuing one. James Ruse has gone from strength to strength. We have always insisted that though this is an Agricultural High School, it leads to all areas of endeavour. We have among our ex-students graduates in all professions. We have become a force to be reckoned with in the sporting field.
Tradition has been established at James Ruse. It is a tradition based on attainment in so many fields. These days schools do not ruthlessly advertise the fact that they have some motto that they pursue, and this is the case at James Ruse. While we do have a motto, "Deeds, not Words", much has been achieved without formal recognition of this fact. But much still remains to be done. During these times of economic and social difficulties it is imperative that standards be not only maintained but improved upon. It is so easy to take for granted the achievements of those in the past, or to become disenchanted with the tasks of the present. The challenge that lies ahead of us at James Ruse is to consolidate the work of the pioneers of the first twenty years, to make the most of the abilities we have, to appreciate the rights and feelings of others, to be modest in what we do. If we can do this, the era just opening up will be as great as the first.
(Mr.) B. Berry.
From the 1978 School Magazine.