The Memorial Great Hall is an important Carey landmark which hosts performances, assemblies and important addresses.
Officially opened on 12 December 1954 by His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Sir Dallas Brooks, the MGH marked the beginning of a new era for Carey. For almost 30 years, the assembled school had met standing for morning assembly. The MGH, with seating for all, brought new meaning to assemblies and provided a meeting space – becoming the heart of the School for most large occasions.
The MGH has undergone substantial alterations and additions throughout the decades, including the relocation of the original stained-glass window to the entrance, an enlarged stage, orchestra pit, balcony and theatrical rigging system.
From 2019 to 2020, the Memorial Great Hall was again upgraded as part of the Middle School redevelopment and now seats 1000 students.
‘Headmaster V F O Francis had moved morning assemblies into Laycock House where, on the first day of his successor, S L Hickman, I leant against a corner window which broke audibly. “Will the boy that did that see me after assembly!” My first meeting with the new head was not auspicious.’
– Tony McCutcheon, School Captain (1951)
‘I was in the Middle School in the early 1980s. Where the building stands now, there used to be some down ball courts. To secure one you had to be the first to hold your tennis ball against the wall at recess and lunchtime.’
– Tim Chilvers, alum (1989) and Chair of the Board (2021–present)
‘This hall is a permanent reminder of the fact that some fought hard for our freedom and our opportunity to realise our potential. It is up to our staff and students who pass through this place to bring honour to those who died by the deeds we perform and our preparedness to respect each precious day … It is important to ensure that the Carey torch is passed on to the next generation.’
– Jeffrey O Thomas, past student (1964) and School Board president (1991–99), in a speech at the rededication of Memorial Great Hall in 1995