This is the story of a long-established school nestled from colonial times on a small site on the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the Sydney Harbour – a seeming demi-paradise for children to grow up in. The school itself, however, was often challenged by overcrowding and serious lack of resources. Many children came from families of humble means and impoverished circumstances. Teachers were often presented with difficult challenges and pressures in cramped conditions during wartime, peacetime, depression and prosperity. And yet an all-conquering vibrant spirit seemed to prevail. From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, the school became a potent nursery for sporting champions, scholars, and future Australian identities and leaders, including many Olympic swimmers and several national rugby stars as well as accomplished businesswomen, academics, journalists, artists and prominent professionals. The famous included the war hero Roden Cutler, the international swimmers and surfers Andrew "Boy" Charlton, Ernest Henry, Max Riddington, and Noel "Tiger" Ryan, and rugby greats like Rob Heming, Rex Mossop, Charlie Eastes and others. And then there was the poet Bruce Beaver and the philosopher John Passmore.