A Brief History of Fort Street Houses
House systems were introduced to both the Boys and Girls schools in 1945. The Sports Master at the Boys school wrote this in the 1945 Fortian Magazine:
The House System divides the school into four smaller High Schools which compete with each other… Each House has its own Captain and a Vice-Captain in charge of each sport, also its own house recorder at the Athletics and Swimming Carnivals. At the last Athletic carnival, House “War-cries,” cheer-leaders and coaches were very prominent…
There shall be four Houses - Chrismas, Kilgour, Mearns and Williams (former Principals of the school), comprising respectively all the boys in the School Rolls classified according to surnames… The Rose Cup is awarded to the champion House in all sport.
In the same year, 5th Form Student Jill Jefferson wrote about the formation of Houses at the Girls school:
The idea of having School Houses had long been simmering in the minds of every new group of Fifth Year girls, and this year definite action was taken.
The Fifths were expected to suggest the names of the Houses, and for days there were hot discussions about them. Some suggested the names of Australian explorers, others wanted aboriginal names; then the names of the streets adjacent to the School were suggested, as were the names of certain Royal houses.
Finally a compromise was made between the last two suggestions and the names of the houses were settled… blue for Bradfield, green for Gloucester, scarlet for Kent and gold for York.
In 1975, the year the Boys and Girls schools were united on the current site, the Fortian records the Houses as Casanova, Maralinga, Fonzie, Newcombe and Elswik, but in 1980 the school felt the need to re-design the School Houses again.
This year saw the reintroduction of the house system which had not been used since 1975 when the two schools amalgamated. At an assembly, Mr. Horan announced a "moment that would go down in history" and proceeded to read out names of past Fortians to be allocated to the six houses previously referred to as A, B, C, D, E, F.
The six houses were Bannon (purple), Barton (green), Hunter (orange), Mackness (blue), Mawson (yellow) and Preston (red). Those House names were still in use in 1991, but by 1993 the six Houses had been reduced to four and were known simply by their colours. From 1998 to 2021 those Houses were known as Barton (blue), Mawson (red) and Preston (yellow) and Kennedy (green).