Following a spurt of rebellion I found myself dispatched from the convenience of an education office to a school on Princes Highway. As I sat in the little cosy cabin that I was ushered into at the start of the day, I realised that I was unconsciously staring at Captain Cook through the glass doors of the cabin. Piqued by curiosity I ventured closer to the display case and was fascinated by the miniature model of Captain James Cook’s ship and other valuable artefacts and documents. The 18th century British explorer and navigator, Captain James cook, altered the western perceptions of world geography significantly through his mapping of the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. Here I am right in the middle of history and who knows could be contributing actively to the making of history. Little did I imagine that my relationship with Captain Cook would commence in an unconventional manner, owing to a streak of defiance.
Curiosity, a greedy witch, cast her devious spell on me, and totally enamoured by my stumbling discovery and being influenced by her, I was determined to use my deductive powers and my sleuth skills to uncover hidden or long forgotten facts about the institution that I currently represented. I learnt that Queen Elizabeth II had visited the institution that was named after Captain James Cook on 29th April 1970 as part of the Royal tour which began on the 30th of March and extended to thirty four days during which period she travelled through Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. When the royal yacht “Britannia’ touched Botany Bay to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain Cook’s landing at Kurnel, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne were received warmly by the then Sydney Lord Mayor Emmett McDermott who accompanied the Queen on her walkabout tours through Sydney Townhall.
Another interesting fact that I learned about the institution is that it was not always named after Captain James Cook. The school when established in 1956 was known to the Sydney population by a different name. The school, standing on what used to be a part of Moorefield Racecourse, when confronted with the choice of choosing between becoming a sports and technology school decided in favour of becoming a technology school. The technology choice triggered the name change and the institution began to be known as Cook’s school.
The exciting discovery of the institution’s history compensated for the long drive from my residential area. I catch myself gazing intently at the display glass case when I am not engrossed in a specific task. Call it stranger things or stranger relationships!