A century of learning

It has been exactly 100 years since Parramatta High School's foundation stone was laid on the site of an old shale quarry.

A second stone dated April 3, 2014, was unveiled today by Department of Education and Communities secretary Michelle Bruniges to commemorate the historic event.

Principal Domonique Splatt said while the student population had grown in size and ethnic diversity — there are about 40 different nationalities enrolled — some traditions remained the same.

The school’s moto ‘Fax mentis incendium gloriae’ has been alternately translated as ‘‘The torch of the mind lights the pathway to learning’’ and ‘‘Knowledge is the pathway to glory’’.

There are currently two selective classes in each grade from years 7 to 11.

"Academic excellence has got to be a strength of the school," Ms Splatt said.

"The common element that learning is what's going to make a difference to your life, has never been something that the school has not instilled in kids.

"There were 17 principals before me, pushing the same barrow — that knowledge is the way to your future."

Memorabilia collected for the school's centenary celebrations last year include a velvet tasselled cap from the original school uniform, bronze sports trophies as well as photos and personal effects of former students.

They include World War Two veteran Brian Morrey and photographer Tony Maston, whose work is featured at Holroyd Library.

‘‘Present students really have a strong sense of who they are as Parramatta High students,’’ Ms Splatt said.

‘‘We are very fortunate that they have a strong past, a nice present, but also a gorgeous, creative future.’’

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