Opening of the first govt secondary school
Published on: Wednesday, February 01, 1961

Mr G Clarke, Principal of Sabah College, helps Lady Goode with the signing of Visitors Book.
NORTH BORNEO SABAH & SABAH TIMES (Wednesday, February 1, 1961) - JESSELTON, Tuesday. — “So we have made a start, ! and a good start, in providing full secondary education. I say a start, because obviously we must have further full secondary schools to meet the country’s needs for educated men and women and to give our young people the opportunity for higher education they deserve,” said His Excellency the Governor, Sir William Goode today. 

His Excellency was speaking at the formal opening and renaming of the Government Secondary School. Sir William went on: 

“Today I am formally opening these new school buildings; but, the Government Secondary School first started in 1957 at Tanjong Aru. It then moved to the old kajang and attap government Offices; and in the middle of 1959 started to use the first blocks of classrooms here. Today’s ceremony marks the completion of the main buildings of the school: the assembly hall, library and sixth form classrooms. 

The work has taken longer than was expected – or various reasons; but at we have a proper secondary school. And. I thank the PWD architects and the ...., Union (Borneo) Company, for the admirable building they have given us. 

This is the first Government Secondary School; but already it has been followed by others at Kudat, Tawau and Kota Belud; and three further rural secondary schools are planned. 

But this school is still the only Government school in North Borneo providing full secondary education including a sixth form up to university entrance standards, with a special emphasis on science. The sixth form was started in 1958 from pupils in this school and from the aided secondary schools. During the last two years eleven pupils have been awarded Colombo Plan scholarships abroad, mainly in science and engineering, and five have already left to take up their scholarships.

A Good Start 

So we have made a start, and a good start, in providing full secondary education. I say a start, because obviously we must have further full secondary schools to meet the country’s needs for educated men and women and to give our young people the opportunity for the higher education they deserve. 

The school is not just a Jesselton school. Its purpose is to provide for the surrounding districts, especially the rural areas, which so badly need the opportunity for education. There are hostels to take 15o boys and 90 girls. 

I hope that an ever increasing number of boys and girls from the rural areas will come here to fit themselves for their proper part in the future of North Borneo. 

On the suggestion of the Board of Education this school, previously known as the Government Secondary School, will in future be named Sabah College; and in a minute I shall unveil a name plate and so name it. The name Sabah College will show that the school will serve a wider area than Jesselton. 

Turnbull Hall 

It has also been decided to name the assembly hall the Turnbull Hall in memory of Sir Roland Turnbull, who did so much to encourage the development of education during his governorship, and who so ably set this country on the way forward to progress and prosperity. 

I hope that in the years to come this Sabah College will produce many men and women of his brilliant intelligence and equally devoted to the true interests of this country. 

I wish the staff and pupils of Sabah College every good, fortune and success in the future. May this school develop standards and traditions of scholarship and leadership to fit those who pass through it to take up their responsibilities as the future leaders of North Borneo. 

To the present members of the school I want to stress the many openings that await you, if you can qualify yourselves. We need all kinds of professional men and women; teachers, doctors, engineers, surveyors, lawyers, and so on, and staff for all grades of the Administrative Service. There are great opportunities to be taken there is no limit to the advancement of those with ability and character. 

I now unveil the name plate and name this school Sabah College; and wish success to all who study here.” 

His Excellency accompanied by Lady Goode and Captain R. D. Metchette, Private Secretary to the Governor, arrived at 9.3o and was met on arrival by the Acting Director of Education, Mr F. G. Whelan and the Principal Mr G. Clarke. 

Among the important guests at the opening ceremony were the Honourable the Chief Secretary Mr R. N. Turner and Mrs Turner; the Honourable the Attorney-General, Mr C. F. Purchase and Mrs Purchase; the Honourable the Financial Secretary, Mr H. W. Davidson; the Honourable the Secretary for Local Government, Mr. J. H. Macartney; the Honourable Mr Donald Stephens and Mrs Stephens; Bishop Buis, and members of the Board of Education. 

Inspection Tour 

After unveiling of the new School name, His Excellency and Lady Good made an inspection tour of the school. They inspected the Library and study room, Assembly Hall, the Science laboratories – biology, physics and chemistry; Domestic Science room; classrooms, geography, art and history rooms, Bridge class, and the Boys and Girls’ Hostels. 

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