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Reflections on Glenlyon: George Cuppage

Matthew C. Yang ’24
Mr George Cuppage, who attended Glenlyon Preparatory School from 1961 to 1966, talks about the cultural identity of Glenlyon Norfolk School.
When did you attend Glenlyon Preptoary and why did you want to be a part of this community?
I attended Glenlyon Prep School in 1961. One of the main reasons my parents chose Glenlyon is because of its traditions. Students of Glenlyon School were known to have good manners and were all very well-behaved. For example, we were all told that when you are on a bus, and an adult comes along, you have to get up immediately and let the adult sit down.
How was school life at Glenlyon in 1961? What were your impressions?
School life was strict, and discipline was very harsh compared to nowadays. As an example, there would be a boundary on both ends of Rattenbury beach. If you went out of bounds, it was a caning offence. Everybody had to say: “Yes, sir” when responding. Also, you always have to take off your hat when you greeted an adult. So it was a very traditional era back then. 
Which part of school did you enjoy the most?
It almost depends on the teachers. We all had our favourite teachers, and that became our favourite class. It didn't matter what the subject was. Those teachers can really make the class interesting. But the teachers had very high standards back then, they were real gentlemen.
Do you have any advice for students at GNS?
Students should recognize that it's a really good opportunity that they have to be at a private school. The extra level of opportunity and education offered at Glenlyon is tremendous. This is not often expressed by the teachers and recognized by students until after graduation.
How does Glenlyon Norfolk School stand out from other schools?
Glenlyon is probably the most unique school in Victoria, because of the age of the school, and how it was founded. The original architecture goes back to the early days of Victoria, at the turn of the century. The school was founded by Major Ian Simpson, who came from Scotland. This represents the cultural heritage of the school. The architect of Glenlyon being Francis Rattenbury and the location right on the beach makes it a real classic school. When I was there, the lunch was made by Ms Simpson Sr. (the wife of the founder), in the manner of the old Scottish lunch that they would have in the old days of Scotland.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.