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News > Docco's Diary > Docco's Diary: Sir George Murray Shield

Docco's Diary: Sir George Murray Shield

The Sir George Murray Shield is a tribute to the School's rich House tradition.

Old scholars may be interested to know that Howard House have won the Sir George Murray Shield in 2021. They may also be interested to know some background to this Shield, which was first awarded in 1929 for “School Work”, was discontinued for a long period after 1978, and then reintroduced in 2007 with a wider set of criteria. Those at St Peter’s College prior to 1979 will remember the award of the Sir George Murray Shield at Speech Day every year to the House that did best in “School Work”.

Sir George Murray (1863-1942) was an old scholar, who had become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and Chancellor of the University of Adelaide. He presented the Shield and it was awarded for the first time in 1929.


Sir George Murray, Chief Justice of South Australia and Chancellor of the University of Adelaide

Short House won it in 1929 followed by Da Costa, Hawkes and Farrell. Short won it again in 1930. From 1958 to 1968 MacDermott won it 11 years in a row and for a time it became known as “The Great MacDermott Shield”!

After 1978 it was not awarded for nearly 30 years until it was reintroduced in 2007 with broader criteria. It now acts as an Inter-House Shield with points being awarded for performance, participation and community work. It aims to help boys focus on teamwork, character and effort; and affirm those that make holistic contributions to their House, School and the wider community.

Short won it in the first year it was reintroduced in 2007.

Old Scholars of Howard House will be pleased to know Howard have won it in 2021 after being runners up in the last three years. Howard achieved 186 points, ahead of Da Costa (172) and Woodcock (160).


Howard House won the Sir George Murray Shield in 2021

Howard House’s success was not based on winning everything but being consistently in the top 4 in most activities that counted towards the Sir George Murray Shield. Also, every Howard boy played his part in winning points for his House. This helped the House enormously for the Swimming Carnival and Athletics Day.

Howard’s achievements in 2021 included:
1st in the Swimming Carnival overall (1st Juniors, 3rd Seniors)
1st on Summer Sports Day (1st Junior and Senior badminton, 1st Junior cricket, 2nd Senior cricket, 2nd junior water polo, 3rd senior water polo)
3rd in Athletics Carnival
4th on Winter Sports day (1st Junior table tennis, 2nd Senior soccer and Senior table tennis)
4th in Mooting Competition
5th in the Pyramid of Cans, when boys bring in cans of food to give to charity and use the cans to create a structure. (Howard leaders did a wonderful job building a “Covid safe Howardsorus Rex” attacking “Can-Tokyo”!).


Howard House students with their Pyramid of Cans creation in 2021

One previous Headmaster said that if you have a good House system, you have a good School. We all know he was right. We all remember the House with which we were associated with great affection.

Would our School have the outstanding reputation and experienced the success it has without the rich House tradition which often sees many generations of a family go into the same House?

Howard and Young Houses were formed in 1963 to take the number of Day Houses at St Peter’s College to eight. Howard House was named after the first Colonial Chaplain of South Australia – The Reverend Charles Beaumont Howard (1807-1843). He was born, raised and educated in Dublin, Ireland. He travelled to South Australia on the Buffalo in 1836 and was the only clergyman operating in South Australia until 1840 when the Reverend James Farrell arrived. He oversaw the construction of the Holy Trinity Church, North Terrace, which opened in July 1838.

Well done to Howard House in 2021!

David Docwra

David Docwra retired from St Peter’s College in December 2015 after 37 years’ service and will be fondly remembered by many as a dedicated teacher, a committed coach of squash, cricket and soccer, and most especially as a passionate Head of Hawkes House for 21 years.

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