Our founding story

Educationist, teacher and Brighton Grammar founder Dr George Henry Crowther, M.A., LL.D was rarely seen without his academic doctor’s hat, which he wore rain or shine set at a jaunty angle. But odd headwear wasn’t the only thing that made Crowther stand out from the crowd.

Crowther, who founded BGS on 14 February 1882, was the antithesis of the cold Victorian schoolmaster. He was kind, patient, approachable, hardworking, and community minded; sometimes stern, but always just. Under his guidance, BGS engendered a sense of belonging – in the early days Crowther’s little boarding school was like a big family.

Crowther also believed it was the role of his school to impart an ‘intelligent’ education. He championed an all-round education where boys would ‘learn to learn’. He discouraged the boys from specialising before the age of 17 or 18. He also lived and breathed his conviction that an education should be lifelong; Crowther himself earned four degrees in his academic career, including a Doctor of Law from the University of Melbourne.

It was an innovative approach to education, but with Crowther at the helm, it worked: just eight years after founding BGS, the School had grown to become one of the largest private schools in Victoria.

Most importantly, in over 141 years, the core values at BGS have changed very little. BGS still prides itself on instilling a sense of belonging, providing an all-round education, and inspiring a lifelong love of learning.

Crowther’s motto, Meliora Sequamur (let us pursue better things), is so much more than a cursory nod to our history – it is at the heart of everything BGS stands for and drives everything we do.