When you start a new school there are so many decisions to make. What will we name the school? What will its values be? What will we have as the uniform? I know because I was the founding Head of a school in the ACT before coming to St Paul’s School.
One of the big decisions to make is the design of the school crest or badge. The purpose of a crest is to identify the community, to tell a story of who we are in pictorial form.
When we wear the crest, we show that we belong to that community, and we do so with a certain sense of pride, not unlike you do if you were a member of the Australian Defence Force, the Queensland Police, or an elite sporting team.
St Paul’s was actually named after the original St Paul’s School in London, which is over 500 years old. The then Archbishop of Brisbane, Reginald Halse, who was instrumental in the establishment of our School, was a past student of St Paul’s School in London.
While the foundation stone for St Paul’s School Brisbane was laid in 1960, it wasn’t until 1965 that the School crest was launched to the community. A designer was engaged to capture the essence of this new northside School in a badge. They presented four options (which are on display in the School’s Accounts area in the Tooth Admin Building). The winning option is quite fitting.
The design consists of a gold Bishop’s mitre (hat) over a red shield (the colour red chosen to represent action). The mitre emphasises that this is a church School, an Anglican School.
The shield contains a gold martyr’s crown, symbolising self-sacrifice, or heart for servant leadership. In the early years following the resurrection of Jesus, many of his disciples experienced incredible persecution for their faith; many were put to death.
In the centre of the shield are the crossed swords of St Paul, for whom our School, and the school in London, is named. St Paul was also a martyr for his faith. He was a well-educated man, a pharisee. Following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Christ commissioned him to take the Good News to the “Gentile” world. Paul was eventually put to death by the Romans.
Paul was an incredibly brave and courageous man with an extraordinary faith. If you are interested, some of his story is recorded in the book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible. In that book you can read about Paul’s encounters with the authorities, about the years he spent in prison, when he survived a snake bite, and the time he was shipwrecked.
There is almost no better person than St Paul to look to for inspiration. A man of incredible resilience, a Roman citizen who travelled extensively making him one of the first global citizens.
Finally, below the shield is the motto, “Fide et Literis”, “By Faith and by Learning”; the same motto as St Paul’s School in London.
Our School values are Faith, Learning and Community. These values, and the essence of who we are and what our purpose is as a school, is captured beautifully in the School crest.
I am incredibly proud to belong to this community.
Dr Paul Browning