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Symbols at All Hallows' School

All Hallows' School Badge


Unlike many other schools All Hallows' did not, from its foundation, present a symbol and seek to realise it. Its motto and badge grew out of a lived experience of striving to be true to self because that self is God 's work of art.  


 The school celebrated its first 50 years on 10 May 1911 and formulated its motto: Dieu et Devoir - God and Duty. The strong French influence in the school's early years explains the departure from the traditional practice of adopting a Latin motto. 'Devoir' is intended to be inseparably linked with 'Dieu', it denotes the freedom of responsibility growing out of a personal relationship with God. All Hallows' motto is at the heart of Catherine McAuley's words:

We should be as the compass which goes around its circle without stirring from its centre. Our centre is God from whom all our actions should spring as from their source.

The design of the badge, in the school colours of blue and white, symbolises fidelity to the living of the motto. Through fidelity to it will be won the 'palm leaves' of victory, the ultimate 'crown' of life. Inseparable from the crown is the 'cross' - a reminder of Catherine McAuley's words:

Without the cross, the real crown cannot come.

Appropriately, in the school whose life had been part of the early growth of Queensland, the cross is represented by the Maltese cross. However, as a reminder that All Hallows' has its roots in Ireland, a tiny shamrock appears in each shoulder of the shield. In the centre of the badge are interwoven the letters AM, Ave Maria, addressed to Mary as the model and exemplar of all who would strive to live the motto of God and Duty.

Initially only the boarders received a badge to be worn on the ribbon on their uniform hats. Before long, however, a practice was introduced which was continued for more than sixty years. Any pupil who had been in the senior school for two years could, with the personally requested permission of each staff member, be awarded the right to wear the badge. It was surely the emphasis thus placed on the significance of the ideals symbolised in the badge which made it something very precious in the eyes of several generations of All Hallows' girls. (Mahoney 106-107)

Current practice sees all students wear the badge from the first day at school.    

All Hallows' School Main Gate (Built 1879)frontgate

The gate was designed by an Italian priest, Joseph Augustine Canali. An architect and engineer, he came to Brisbane in 1872, and was ordained a priest in St Stephen's in 1879.

The inscriptions and symbols on the gate have a special significance for all who come to All Hallows'.

Inscription on gate:  A.M.D.G. Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (to the greater glory of God)

Cross: Christian School

Monogram: Letters IHS are a monogram for Jesus taken from the first 3 letters of his name in Greek. 

Torches: Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Shamrocks: The Irish origin of the Sisters of Mercy.