‘On the historic 11th January 1866, when Wesley College opened its doors for the first time, the adventurous dream of our founders became a reality. From a small beginning there arose a great school that is now firmly established in the life of the community…’

So begins the first article on page one of the very first issue of Lion magazine, written by then Headmaster Dr Thomas Coates 61 years ago.

With this month’s issue, we’re celebrating reaching our 150th.

That first issue - all four pages of it - makes for some fascinating reading. The Wesley College represented in that early 1960’s Lion was still under the enduring influence of the Adamson tradition: remarkably, the school still had direct links back to LA Adamson’s Wesley of the early 20th century.

The ‘Kenno Recalls’ article on the last page of Issue #1 was written by the recently retired William Kennedy, who joined the staff in 1913: ‘L.A Adamson was very human and understanding. Late one afternoon early in the first World War, I was speaking to him in his study when…’ Such changes in our school since then!

And yet, such continuity. Other articles in that first edition seem very similar to those found in our contemporary Lion. How about: ‘New Science Wing Opened’ or ‘Sport Plays Vital Role’? This second one focused on some recent premiership victories: ‘Chronicle, over the past five years, paints a rather satisfactory success story for sport at Wesley – that is to those who are premiership conscious.’

We’ve had our own ‘rather satisfactory success story for sport at Wesley’ lately as well. In 'The Year of the Triple Double', we celebrate the extraordinary achievement of three dual premiership victories for 2023 – both our Girls’ and Boys’ teams have taken out the cup for Tennis, for Cross Country and for Athletics. And we also won the premiership for Boys’ Basketball.

No ‘New Wing’ was opened this year specifically, but there’s been plenty of those stories from across our campuses in recent years, documenting the adventurous reality of our founders’ ‘adventurous dream’.

Dr Coates finishes his ‘Welcome to the Lion’ message with some festive wishes. All these years later in December 2023, I shall use his words to do the same:

‘As these lines are written, the Christmas season is almost upon us. In the name of the School, I should like to extend to all readers the warmest of good wishes.’

Paul Munn, Lion Editor and Features Writer