During the 1930s and 1940s, class prefects were responsible for student behaviour during the absence of the teacher and also for keeping the roll book. As well, each study and bedroom was assigned a prefect who ensured that everything remained clean and neat. Prefects also had the automatic right to the best bed in the room, usually by a window. The head prefect who rang the bells and locked up at night was regarded with awe by the younger boys.
The Brown and Gold yearbook for 1931 explained the rationale for the prefect system. ‘A state of chaos naturally exists where law and order do not prevail. To prevent disorder from gaining the upper hand, a number of students are appointed by the Director as prefects.’
By 1950, besides being responsible for the maintenance of good order and proper behaviour, prefects were expected to take an interest in the personal welfare of their fellow students and foster the College spirit. They were also to set a good example and even had the power to administer punishment for minor offences. In 1962 prefect Brian Schwarz wrote that ‘naturally it is not all smooth running. Occasionally someone boldly challenges the authority of a prefect and there may be a row followed by an imposition or a job.’
By 1969, the prefect system began to place more emphasis on these office-holders as representatives of the student body.
Jenni van Wageningen
Photo: 1970 Prefects
Standing: Glenda Traeger, Peter Bean, Helen Payne, Lester Nitschke, Lynette Zacher, Robyn Temme
Seated: Herbert Schafranek, Mr Richard Mau, Jeffrey Kupke, Kay Ruchel, Allan Heppner.