As the 1941 school year drew to a close, and both Kincoppal and Rose Bay schools were preparing for their traditional end of year events, news of the bombing of Pearl Harbour reached Australia. The southward advance of Japanese troops had begun, and the threat of an invasion of Australia became more of a reality.
Both schools occupied highly exposed positions on Sydney Harbour, and many parents began to express their intention to move their children to other schools if classes continued at the Rose Bay and Elizabeth Bay sites. Consequently, a search began for suitable sites to which the schools could be evacuated. Initially, the Hotel California at Katoomba was identified as a potential site for Kincoppal, and the Lapstone Hotel for Rose Bay; both propositions, however, fell through.
Eventually, The Rift at Bowral was secured for the Rose Bay junior classes (Forms 1 and 2), and Laurel Park was rented for the middle classes (Forms 3 and 4); the senior classes and the mistresses remained at Rose Bay.
Kincoppal secured a property known as Green Ways at Bundanoon, which had previously operated as a guest house. While the students from Rose Bay returned to Sydney by the end of 1942, Kincoppal remained at Bundanoon until the end of 1943, as their buildings at Elizabeth Bay had been taken over by the United States Navy.
Despite the disruption caused, life at Bundanoon settled into a rhythm and new routines were established. New challenges were faced head on, not least of which was the weather. 1943 was remembered as a particularly wet year, and the winters severe, with bleak winds, mist, and frosts. Cricket matches were a popular recreation, although having to clean up after the cows with shovels and wheelbarrows before play could start might not have been so popular!
Recently, the School Archives received an enquiry from a woman named Suzanne Smith who is extremely interested in hearing from any Kincoppal alumna who were at Bundanoon during the war. Several years ago, Suzanne purchased a home in Bundanoon, which was part of Green Ways. She describes it as “a beautiful, peaceful setting” and says that everyone who visits “comments on there being something wonderful about the ‘feeling’ of the place.” If you would like to contact Suzanne with information on your time at Green Ways, please contact Victoria Dalton at email@example.com