Sir Mark Oliphant

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Sir Mark Oliphant, (left) with Mayor Anita Aspinall
and Author Robert Martin at the launch of the second
edition of “Under Mount Lofty”, 1996.
MLDHS 1296-1

Marcus Oliphant arrived in Mylor with his family in 1910. He was enrolled in the one teacher Mylor Primary School where he completed his own primary education before moving to Unley High School, Adelaide University, Cambridge University and finally to the Australian National University, Canberra following a world renowned career as a physicist.

In 1973 as Governor of South Australia, Sir Mark Oliphant officially opened the Mylor School Library. He addressed a gathering of over 500 local residents, former students and old school friends:-
“…The library must be centre of each school, be it primary, secondary or technical. Once a child has learned to read, the whole world is there to be explored…We live in an age where knowledge is growing at an ever increasing rate; and it is through assiduously reading the journals in which new knowledge is recorded that the teacher, the doctor, the engineer, the scientist, the historian, the linguist and all other scholars, can remain up to date with new developments in their own particular fields.

Discrimination in reading, – as in food or music – is gained from experience of good books and fine writing generally…and most importantly this experience must be gained when young. It was from my parents and in this School and from a great teacher, the late Mr. McCaffrey that I learned to
distinguish the good from the bad, the works of genius from the mediocre. It was here at Mylor that books became not only my companions but my very life…It was because of these and other reasons, and especially the happy years that I spent at this school that I am pleased to declare open the new library.”

More about Mylor Primary School

text from Jan Polkinghorne, 1994, “The Light in the Valley” p.110

Do you have memories of Mark Oliphant or Mylor Primary School? Contact us at or drop into the History Centre at the Coventry Library, 63 Mount Barker Road, Stirling.