The school was founded in 1989 and took its name from John Ramsden Wollaston.

Overview

An Anglican Archdeacon born on 28 March 1791 in London, John Wollaston enjoyed the greater part of his life as a village priest in England

He was schooled at Charterhouse, where his father, Edward Wollaston, was a Master and his maternal grandfather, Headmaster, and at Christ’s College, Cambridge (B.A., 1812; M.A., 1815). Having taken holy orders, he married Mary Amelia May in 1819, the youngest daughter of Colonel George Gledstones. They had five sons and two daughters.

Finding the income from his time at West Wickham, Cambridgeshire, insufficient for his growing family, he applied in 1840 for the position of Chaplain to the Western Australian Land Company’s proposed settlement at Australind.

In 1841, aged 50, he left the known comforts of parish life to begin a ministry in the colony of Western Australia.

He arrived in the settlement of Australind in that year as a free settler, only to find that he was unable to receive an appointment or salary as a colonial chaplain until he had constructed a church building. Struggling for survival against the harsh and strange conditions, he completed the little church at Picton, with the help of his family, in less than 18 months.

His energy and efficiency became widely known, and he was asked to minister to the people of Albany. In 1848, he completed St John’s Church and was appointed the first Archdeacon of WA.

In this capacity, he rode on horseback all over the South West, caring for the church. He was much loved by lay people and earned a reputation for bringing the very different clergy of the colony together.

He died, chiefly as a result of exhaustion, after his second main archidiaconal tour in 1856. In 1984, he was proclaimed as a local saint and hero of the Anglican Church.