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Olive Hitchock MA Dip.Ed. Prinicpal 1966-1968

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Olive Hitchcock was first appointed acting Principal in 1964 on the retirement of Ms. Simon and then appointed Principal in 1966. Ms. Hitchcock joined the staff of Ladies’ College in 1946 as a teacher and Ms. Simon’s trusted and able advisor. In her unobtrusive manner, she was more than responsible for maintaining the fine balance required in those difficult years. Together they worked out solutions to the numerous problems of organization necessitated by the educational policy shifts of successive Governments. During this time she wrote a very detailed and informative account of Ladies’ College – Haec Victoria Nostra Fides – covering the period 1900 to 1955 which has been of great value to Ladies’ College.

“Ms. Hitchock’s period as Principal (because it was relatively short) is often seen as a period of transition – a space between – but filled so competently and effectively as to be noticed only as continuity not a space. With unassuming efficiency she carried the school through the years immediately after Ms. Simon’s departure, setting the groundwork and the foundation for the new Principal to be appointed. On taking up the acting Principalship in 1966, her sensitivity to the changes taking place in the wider society are reflected in the unobtrusive manner in which she introduced a greater degree of cultural openness than in the Simon era and in her willingness to move in the direction of indigenization. It was a subtle shift away from the colonial ethos.

In her quiet way, she headed the direction of greater involvement with national concerns, a move which her successor, Mrs. Gunawardana, developed further. She not only handed over an efficiently organized school to her successor, but had also laid the groundwork that enabled Mrs. Sirancee Gunawardana, as the first Sri Lankan head of the school, to further actively integrate the school into the larger social and cultural life of the country”. – [Excerpts from Ladies’ College a centennial narrative 1900 -2000 and History of CMS Ladies’ College (1957)]

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