A year of milestones

Headmaster's Blog

The term milestone is a prominent part of today's vernacular. Historically, waymarks, usually carved from stone or wood, were used as signposts to mark a traveller's journey – in essence, they were the way to measure travel milestones.

This year marks two significant milestones for Scotch College – our 125th year and our Pipe Band's 75th year.

Why are milestones important to organisations like ours?

Milestones build morale.


Bringing our community together to acknowledge something we have played a part in strengthens our connections with each other and our school.

Organisational milestones such as our 125th year are built on emotion, and reinforcing the emotional connection with Scotch is critical to celebrating our past and future success.

Milestones highlight a track record.

Most milestones are not quick fix items and they take time to achieve. That is why they are celebration-worthy.

But what is great about that is it showcases our College's track record. It gives us credibility, and our 125th celebrations make a very proud and strong statement about our longevity and associated security.

When you have been around for 125 years and have over 15,000 graduates and 1,430 current students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, it means we are continuing to grow and doing something right. Most importantly, it alludes to a bright future for our College.

All positive messages are worth acknowledging and celebrating.

On Saturday 6 August 2022, we celebrated our Pipe Band's 75th anniversary.

The College was 50 years old when the Pipe Band began in the second year of Dr Keys's tenure as the third Headmaster of Scotch College.

Coming from New Zealand in 1946 and replacing long-serving Headmaster PC Anderson, Dr Keys was bemused that a college such as Scotch, steeped in Scottish heritage, did not have a pipe band. He believed a pipe band would help reinforce the College's Scottish roots.

What started at eight pipers and five drummers playing Highland Laddy at the Perth Royal Show for their first public outing has grown to over 90 players and a Middle School band who impress audiences at Military Tattoos around the world.

We celebrated the Pipe Band's milestone with a community sundowner, featuring a tattoo item by the whole band, items by the Middle School, Senior School, A-Team band and solo performances. John Patterson and Norm de Grussa topped off the evening by cutting the spectacular drum-sized birthday cake.


It was a fabulous celebration with over 350 attendees and many passerby watchers playing sports or walking their dogs on the Memorial grounds.

Dr Alec O'Connell