Centenary Book

Cairns High The First Hundred Years is the story of a school which has faced more than its fair share of challenges from its formative years to the present. Bubonic plague, Spanish flu, the two world wars, the bus crash and the arson attack on the original school building are only some of those challenges addressed in the first part of the book, a year by year account of the school’s first century. The author, Peter Stanton, has personally experienced 27 of those years as a teacher at Cairns State High School since 1990.

The second part of the book investigates in more detail some of the main traditions and innovations of Cairns High. The section begins by exploring institutions which no longer exist such as the Technical College, the use of corporal punishment at the school, the rail motor and the cadets. Subsequent themes include the origins of school symbols and the sports houses, the main sports played at the school in the past one hundred years, the successful orchestra and other aspects of the Arts, the contributions of Indigenous students and Cairns High’s emergence in recent years, despite its earlier challenges, to become an internationally recognised school.

The book concludes with a series of lists noting past house winners, school captains, duxes, school staff and students who passed Junior and Senior exams. With over 1500 images accompanying the informative and anecdotal text, Cairns High The First Hundred Years recreates an educational era in Cairns which transformed significantly between 1917 and 2017. 

To purchase the book please see the Merchandise tab of this website, visit the school or call us on 07 4050 3042.