"Hold fast to that which is good."
As the School was being established, some members of the School Council felt that the motto should be in English rather than the more traditional Latin, but this idea did not prevail. After considering over 40 possibilities, the favourite was “Yield Not to Adversity”, though some were critical of this and preferred a positive motto instead of the negative implication.
Eventually the members of the School Council agreed on “Viriliter Agite” (Behave Like Men) for our motto. That original motto for Peninsula Grammar appeared on the cover of the program for the Dedication and Opening of the First School Building on 25 February, 1961. This school motto was soon changed however when it was discovered that many other schools had used “Viriliter Agite” as their motto also.
Our first Headmaster, Rev Dudley Clarke, felt strongly that the new school should have a motto which no other Australian school had, so he selected a quotation from the words of St Paul in a letter to the Thessalonians, “Hold fast to that which is good”. Rev Dudley Clarke translated this quotation into Latin as “Quod Bonum Tenete”. This was accepted by the School Council as the motto for The Peninsula School in January, 1961.
In our Peninsula Grammar archives, there resides Rev Dudley Clarke’s handwritten notes on the back of the Minutes of the Building and Development Committee in January, 1961 which read “Hold fast that which is good / Boni Tenex / Bonum Fortiter Tenere”. These appear to be his first attempts at translating the chosen motto into Latin.