Tim Gallop, Head of Boarding at Caulfield Campus, chats about the boarding experience at Caulfield Grammar School and his deep passion for creating a ‘home away from home’ for his students.
“I could never have imagined Caulfield Grammar and my appointment as Head of Morcom Boarding House would play such an enormous part in both my own and my family’s life.”
It’s clear Tim Gallop has a deep fondness for the boarders, considering them part of his family. His clarity of memory of so many individuals is quite amazing, given his appointment as Head of Morcom Boarding House began in 1997.
“We want our boarders to feel as supported and comfortable as possible in our ‘home away from home’,” Tim says, adding that one of the best things about Morcom House is the sense of family created amongst the students themselves.
“The way each boarder, whether young or old, looks out for their resident peers diminishes any homesickness, so there’s an enormous sense of a close bonded community that really is quite special.”
Caulfield Campus has undertaken enormous change since Tim first walked the grounds in early 1983 as a Physical Education and Biology student teacher. And Tim has seen it in its many iterations.
“The development of first-class facilities is impressively evident,” he says, remembering aspects of life on Campus in the mid-80s that were very different. But one thing that has remained constant is the camaraderie among boarders. Tim says that one of the most distinctive elements for day school and boarders alike has been the pride and passion displayed by the Morcom House ‘Tangerine Army’ at inter-House events.
In 1958, the boarders became a 5th House and a distinct threat, as the House colour and motto, ‘Certemus – Let us Strive’, were established.
“Though smaller in number than the day school Houses, and regardless of finishing position in competitions,” Tim’s pride is barely contained, “they still made themselves heard.”
It’s likely there were times during the School’s history that the residential boarding program would have been very challenging to maintain.
“Archives show one of the first boarders was 14-year-old David Mairs from Balnarring who boarded from 1882– 1884,” he reveals. “And the Prospectus of 1883 notes that Resident Boarders paid fees of 20 guineas, which was around $40, and approximately one guinea to stable their horse! That’s a far cry from the financial commitment parents make today to provide residential opportunity to their sons and daughters.”
Having no previous boarding experience when he took on the role, Tim recalls the then-Head of Campus, Mr Phil De Young, and Principal, Stephen Newton, “showed considerable faith in appointing me to a role I would never have expected would provide so much personal fulfillment”.
One of the biggest changes in Caulfield Grammar School boarding came with the introduction of girls in the early 90s to live in what is termed Ardoch (1–3 Merriwoola Street) and St George (corner of St Georges and Glen Eira Roads).
“With renovations to afford more bedroom space, we now have a capacity of 45 boys and 45 girls in Morcom House.”
These days, Tim often comes across the children of students he taught in the 1980s.
“It’s a buzz when a past student approaches to say hello and share recollections of their time as a student,” he says.
So what drives him most in his work?
“I strive my best to passionately consider and undertake actions that parents of boarding students would expect of the person with the primary responsibility for their sons’ and daughters’ welfare, living full-time in Melbourne under Caulfield Grammar’s care.”
In that, he has certainly achieved his goal.