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History of the School Motto

    As the School was being established in the twentieth century, some members of the School Council felt that the motto should be in English rather than the more traditional Latin, but this idea did not prevail. After considering over 40 possibilities, the favourite was “Yield Not to Adversity”, though some were critical of this and preferred a positive motto instead of the negative implication. Eventually the members of the School Council agreed on “Viriliter Agite” (Behave Like Men) for our motto. That original motto for Peninsula Grammar appeared on the cover of the program for the “Dedication and Opening of the First School Building” on 25th February, 1961. The program showed the School crest with the motto “Viriliter Agite” as it had already been printed when the decision was made to change the motto of the new School.

The change was made when it was discovered that many other schools used this as their motto, and our first Headmaster, Rev. Dudley Clarke, felt strongly that the new school should have a new motto. He wanted a motto which no other Australian school had, so he selected a quotation from the words of St Paul in a letter to the Thessalonians, “Hold fast to that which is good”. Dudley Clarke translated this quotation into Latin  as “Quod Bonum Tenete”  and this was accepted by the School Council as the motto for The Peninsula School in January, 1961.

In our Peninsula Grammar Archives we have Dudley Clarke’s hand written notes on the back of the Minutes of the Building and Development Committee of January, 1961 which read “Hold fast that which is good / Boni Tenex / Bonum Fortiter Tenere”. These appear to be his first attempts at translating the chosen motto into Latin. 


Parents wishing to view the School are invited to contact our Admissions Office, who welcome enquiries at any time and will be happy to arrange personal tours for families. Telephone (03) 9788 7753 or email

our golden jubilee celebrations

All members of our community - past, present and future - were invited to join us as we celebrated fifty years of outstanding education on the Mornington Peninsula. We had a host of celebratory Golden Jubilee events in 2011. 



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