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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

A plaque commemorates Mary Fox who was Head Mistress of the Methodist Ladies College from 1903 to 1941.

Mary Fox was born on 20th February, 1877, at Horton College, Ross. She was the daughter of William Walker and Emma Fox.  They had arrived in Tasmania in 1863 when William was appointed headmaster of the Methodist College at Ross.

The family moved to live at 'Maplestead', St. Leonards, and Mary attended the Dunira Girls' School in Tamar Street, the Methodist Ladies' College and the University of Tasmania, where she graduated. She became a school teacher and in 1903 was appointed headmistress of the Methodist Ladies' College.

During her time at the College she initiated several additions to the life of the school. In 1914, under her direction, the Junior School was established, and the following year, the Old Girls' Association was formed. Every year that passed saw an increase in the enrolment of the school.

Mary was the founder of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Association of Independent Schools in Tasmania. She was a member of both the Examination Committee and the Musical Advisory Board of the University of Tasmania. During World War One she served with the Australian Land Army, packing food parcels for Britain.

In 1919 an influenza epidemic overtook the town and the school was obliged to close for some weeks. A kindergarten was opened in 1920 which extended education to the younger children. In 1925 Mary introduced the 'House' system to the school. She was actively interested in hockey, and was four times president of the All Australia Women's Hockey Association and took a team to America and England in 1936. Mary retired in 1941 after thirty-eight years as headmistress. Her association with the school as pupil, teacher and headmistress had extended over fifty years.

On 1st January, 1942, she was awarded the M.B.E. for her work in education. After retiring she went to live at Vermont, Victoria, later moving to Camberwell, where she died in August 1962.

At the Methodist Ladies' College, now part of Scotch-Oakburn College in Elphin Road, a combined chapel and assembly hall was built in the early 1960s. It was named the Mary Fox Memorial and inside a plaque was placed in the chapel end and beside it were hung her citation and the M.B.E. award. 


Address:76 Elphin Road, Scotch Oakburn College Junior School, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.434603
Long: 147.153561
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1903
Approx. Event End Date:1941


Front Inscription

This plaque was erected by the M.L.C. Old Girls' Association in memory of Mary Fox  M.B.E., M.A.

Loved Headmistress of the Methodist Ladies College for 38 years (1903-1941).

Born Horton College Ross 20th Feb. 1877
Died Melbourne 31st  Aug. 1962

Source: MA,JG
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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