Ethel Peet (Gordon)

1922 Collegian | Deceased

1922-ethel-peet-nee-gordon-speech-night-1922

Ethel Peet's interest in assisting students with speech impediments was inspired by the future King George VI's speech therapist, Lionel Logue, who taught elocution at MLC.

Art was another great passion, as she had enjoyed studying with MLC's art teacher Flora Landells. She met Cyril Peet at a party held at Flora's studio in the 1920s, and married him in 1936.

In 1948 Ethel was elected president of MLC Old Girls' Association and she plunged into events, such as the school fete and garden party, as well as other fund-raising activities. She was also heavily involved in the Girl Guides, eventually being appointed as Stirling Division Commissioner.

Disabled children were always a priority for Ethel. She was a regular volunteer at the Spastic Centre, driving several children to school once a week.

Ethel's granddaughter, Samantha Mostyn, attended MLC from 1974-1985. Below is some of what Ethel told Samantha during an interview she conducted while at the College.

"I was enrolled in MLC in 1914, Miss Walton instructing my parents that they would accept me if I could cope with the work, as I had come from a small country school. I struggled and succeeded. There were only 70 girls at MLC when I enrolled and I was the baby.

"MLC possessed its own swimming baths, reached by a precarious track down the cliff to the waterfront. We were all expected to participate, cautiously doing so in our 'flattering' bathing costumes.

"In winter we all froze, as classrooms had only wooden floors and no heating whatsoever, hence, the spate of chilblains.

"I only succeeded at MLC with the help of teachers. Lionel Logue, who became famous in Europe, instructed a small group of girls in the lessons of elocution. He came to the school every Wednesday afternoon. I was very interested in the subject and when asked if I would take private tuition, I accepted gratefully. It was through him that I earned my first diploma and so inspired me to take my second to be able to teach.

"Speech Nights were always held at the Princess Theatre in Bay View Terrace. We practiced for weeks before the occasion. We had to wear white frocks, black stockings, black shoes and big thick black bows in our hair."