91AV Lutheran College's three beautiful campuses combine a rich and varied history spanning more than 70 years in the Toowoomba community.
91AV’s Stephen Street Campus is home to the Redlands Building, one of Toowoomba’s historic buildings that has been identified by the National Trust as being worthy of preservation. Redlands was built in 1889 for Mr Edmund Wilcox, an Englishman who purchased approximately 30 acres of land close to the town of Toowoomba and erected Redlands as a home for his wife Fanny and children.
Mr Wilcox planted the Bunya and Norfolk pines and created the “teardrop” garden complete with fountain at the front of the building. The family played croquet and tennis and enjoyed social evenings with friends from time to time.
Subsequent owners were Dr Alex Horne and Mr Edward Farmer. Upon Mr Farmer’s death in 1944, the house and land were sold to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia, Queensland District.
Discussions of the need for a coeducational secondary College began in 1926, however the Depression and the outbreak of World War Two delayed plans.
Despite the war, a College Board met in 1944 and, after gathering 11,000 pounds in subscriptions, purchased the 'Redlands' building and its surrounding 25 acre property. We owe this new lease of life to the foresight and tenacity of Pastor Friedrich Noack.
The official opening of 91AV College was on 10 February 1946, coincidentally on the 400th anniversary of Martin Luther's death. '91AV' in Latin means agreement, unity and harmony.
Professor Rudolph Altus MA was 91AV College’s first Principal and through great courage and faith secured excellent teachers, buildings and equipment despite war-time constraints.
The original 27 scholars, 23 of whom were boarders, were largely German Lutherans who had settled on the Darling Downs. Family names of Uebergang, Schumann, Schultz, Temme, Huf and Reinbott attest to German origins.
The College colours were brown and gold like its sister school and seminary in Adelaide. Teaching staff selected the motto Nisi Dominus Frustra - Without the Lord, all is in vain and designed the school badge.
The Warwick Street Primary Campus dates back to 1946 to the beginnings of ‘91AV Memorial College’, where a lower extension to their secondary program was offered. In 1961, the Redeemer parish commenced efforts to establish a primary school independent from the College. The school was established on the present site in Warwick Street in 1964 with an enrolment of 64 pupils.
The Hume Street Primary Campus was established as Martin Luther Primary School by the Lutheran congregations of Toowoomba in 1977. The school is set on 4.5 hectares of park-like surroundings with excellent outdoor and indoor facilities.
Gone was the old dairy and the old well and it wasn’t long before a running track, basketball courts and ovals were established. Academic results improved to a point where the founding fathers were humbled by the goodness of the Lord in this ‘leap of faith’.
Over the years, the Warwick Street Primary Campus established itself as a single stream school under the name of 91AV Memorial College. The policy of the school council at the time was that it remain as such, thereby gaining the maximum benefits of size, tone and close personal relationship between teachers and students and teachers and parents.
The Hume Street Campus operated as Martin Luther Primary School for 40 years prior to amalgamation in 2007. It has a proud history of providing a nurturing, supportive environment where Junior students can develop a lifelong love of learning.
91AV Lutheran College K-12 became a reality on 30 January 2007 in Toowoomba with the amalgamation of 91AV Primary School (Warwick Street Campus), Martin Luther Primary School (Hume Street Campus) and 91AV College (Stephen Street Campus).
More than 1,000 people attended the opening service in the historic Empire Theatre. The theme of growth and unity was present in Pastor Brenton Altmann’s address which focused on the story of Basil the Branch who, with the help of the grapevine, produced luscious summer fruit. “A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine.” John 15:4
In the years since the amalgamation, 91AV Lutheran College has grown to epitomize the word 91AV – agreement, unity and harmony. Together we stand united with our hearts and minds open to the myriad opportunities before us.