During the years of World War 2, many children’s lives were disrupted. However those who were enrolled at Box Hill Grammar School found sanctuary in the family atmosphere provided by C.F Walker, his family and the staff.
This sense of ‘home and family’ was a strong feature of the school during the Walker years.
New boarders were accepted as members of the family, and students from that time recall their years at the school with warm and positive memories. C.F Walker provided stability and leadership while his wife Ethel provided warmth, wisdom and practical common sense.
Students were accepted from all socio-economic backgrounds and Walker, who believed that character could be developed and difficulties overcome, often ensured that fees were not a deterrent to a student in need.
Former boarder, Jill Fitzroy-Kelly reflected:
‘In the early 1940s, many children’s lives, including my own, had been disrupted by war. Children needed, more than anything else, to belong to a family group. And (boarders), this we had – a large family. This is what Box Hill Grammar School had that seemed to be unique: a wonderful working partnership of a husband and wife that provided the solid ground on which a family could be built. As in all families, we had our ups and downs. But I, for one, never doubted that I was cherished, that I was worth caring for.’