Former Headmistress, Miss Elizabeth Butt, returned to Fintona for a special Founders' Day Assembly to celebrate her 89th birthday. Every student from Prep to Year 12 heard how Miss Butt has been part of Fintona for 84 years and she continues to be a much respected member of our community even today.
Miss Butt was born in 1928 and came to Fintona when she was only five years old, matriculating with Honours in 1946, a year when she was also a prefect.
Long before STEM was a fashionable preoccupation, Miss Butt completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and went on to teach Science both in England and in Melbourne, also becoming Assistant Mistress at Shelford. She came back to Fintona in 1960, quickly assuming the role of Assistant Mistress again and then becoming Headmistress from 1963 to 1991 making her our longest serving head.
Miss Butt presided over a society that underwent immense changes during her stewardship and one girl wrote of her ‘that achievement has always characterised Miss Butt. She has set high standards for herself and the School which have led to her being an inspiring role model. She has maintained the traditions of Fintona while enabling it to adapt to changes in the modern world.’
During her time as Headmistress, she oversaw the building of the Margaret Cunningham wing and the development of the Junior School. Miss Butt also took and still does an active role in the lives of the students, her staff and the wider community. When she retired the then Board Chair said ‘We will miss her when she retires, her directness, her dedication, her caring for the welfare of everyone. Miss Butt’s legacy will be that good things have a firm foundation.’ One can only imagine Miss Butt’s feeling upon leaving a place where she had spent the majority of her life, but, we are glad that she continues to come to events, reunions and many school based activities.
We hope she can attend next year's Founders' Day assembly when she is 90.
Photo: (L-R) Mrs Margaret Ross AM, former Headmistress Miss Butt OAM, and current Principal Mrs Suzy Chandler