Miss Eunice Macindoe

Miss Eunice Macindoe 1946 - 1956 

Miss Eunice Macindoe served as the College’s fifth Principal, during a period of post-war consolidation.

Eunice Nellie Morris Macindoe (1904-1997) enjoyed a unique association with PLC Sydney: as student, teacher and Principal. She was born in Strathfield, one of eight children, five of whom became students at PLC. Eunice enrolled I912, when she was eight years old and Dr Marden was Principal. She left in 1921, when Dr McQueen was Principal.

After receiving her BSc from the University of Sydney Miss Macindoe began her career as a teacher at SCEGGS Darlinghurst, only to return to PLC in 1926 to teach Physiology and Biology. She taught in several other schools, including one in India and another in Hong Kong, before taking up her appointment as Principal at PLC Sydney in 1946.

As Principal, her first brief was to re-establish the College in the Croydon campus. Largely due to her efforts, the doors opened on the first day of term one in 1946, despite various traces of military occupation, i.e. neglected gardens, unreliable boilers and several Nissan huts. Indeed, during her tenure various improvements and additions were made to the physical fabric of the campus. “The School Hospital Unit, the purchase of Pickard House, the modern bathrooms, the conversion of the laundry block into our most modern classroom, the new tennis courts and the projected new classroom block are all the result of her planning”.1 A preparatory and kindergarten school was set up in Branxton, in Strathfield, in 1946.

The curriculum continued to offer English, Modern History, Ancient History, Geography, French, Latin, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Commercial subjects and extra subjects such as cookery, dressmaking, classing singing and musical appreciation, physical education and swimming. Girls were prepared for the examination of the Australian Life Saving Society. One period each week was devoted to hobbies, when instruction was given in weaving, leather work, pottery, photography and other arts.2 

The range of co-curricular activities increased during Miss Macindoe’s years as Head. The first Pet and Doll Show took place in 1953, films and documentaries were shown in classrooms, a photographic competition was introduced, there was a Chess Club and a Historical Society. In 1956 a television was purchased. Giving to charitable organisations continued to be important; in 1955 more than £400 was given to 25 organisations.3

By 1956 the enrolment had increased to 590, including 117 boarders and 83 young scholars at Branxton.4 In that year there were 45 staff members, 72 pupils sat the Intermediate Certificate and 25 the Leaving Certificate.5

In his tribute to Miss Macindoe, her successor Dr William McKeith AM wrote that she “strongly advocated equal education for girls and she encouraged all with whom she came in contact to continue their education to their maximum ability and to achieve independence. She expected girls to set high standards and not be bound by the then current views of careers considered ‘suitable’, but to be ambitious and achieve in their chosen field”. 6

In her own words, “Our changeless dream at PLC is that of life and of beauty of usefulness and comradeship, of high adventure and of clear simple thought of love and happiness within the school and of youth entering a new world with faith and courage.”7

  • The Macindoe Library, built in 1992 and enlarged and renovated to become the Macindoe Research Centre in 2010 honours the College’s fifth Principal.
  • Adelaide Elizabeth Perry (1891-1973) was an Art teacher and Art Mistress at PLC Sydney from 1930 – 1962. She studied with Frederick McCubbin at the National Gallery School and later at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She exhibited works at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. Her works are held by the Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Victoria, the National Library and the Queensland Art Gallery.

1 Aurora Australis, 1956, p. 13.
2 Series 3 Prospectus, Prospectus c1953.
3 Aurora Australis, 1956, p. 21.
4 The Golden Hope Presbyterian Ladies’ College 1888-1988, John McFarlane, 1988, p. 100.
5 Record Books 1917-1958, p. 297-298 and p. 304-305.
6 Series 43 Principals, Miss Eunice Macindoe, Box 402, Folder 1. 7 Ibid.

 

miss-eunice-macindoe

Miss Eunice Macindoe
Portrait by Adelaide Perry, 1962