Macleod Primary school was initially located in a former church (now the Uniting Church) before moving to Greensborough Road. Secondary education came to Macleod in 1954 when Macleod High School opened with Mr F. Meyer as Headmaster. Many of the original buildings are still in use at Macleod College today.
Towards the end of 1996 Macleod Primary School and Macleod High School merged to form a P-12 College of 1000 students. The new college was located on the High School site. In 1997 funds were provided to build new primary classrooms as well as a gymnasium, a technology wing, and an expanded library.
In May 1999, Chief John Macleod, head of the Clan MacLeod in Scotland, visited and officially named the school Macleod College.
The College motto was adopted from the ancient Scottish motto of ‘MacLeod of MacLeod’ Hold Fast, Murus Aheneus Esto (be thou a wall of brass).
The College emblem carries the above mottos in the colours of the MacLeod of Harris tartan. The castle on the emblem represents Dunvegan Castle located on the Isle of Skye, the seat of the Clan MacLeod in Scotland.
The history of Hold Fast!
Long ago one of the MacLeod chiefs of Dunvegan went to Inverary to visit the Earl of Argyll and when he was there he was invited to attend the execution of a Campbell who had misbehaved and who was to be gored to death by a bull.
When the man was led into the arena he showed such calm courage that the MacLeod pleaded for his release but Argyll declared this would not be possible.
MacLeod asked if he could jump into the pit and save the man thus securing his release. Argyll reluctantly agreed but added, ‘You go to your death.’ MacLeod leaped down and as the bull lowered its head for the charge he seized one of the horns and clung on as he was tossed about. A spectator shouted, ‘Hold fast!’
He did so and managed to stab the bull with his dirk. It is said this is why the bull’s head and the motto, ‘Hold Fast’ are in the armorial bearings of the MacLeods of Harris to this day.
Macleod, H., MacLeod: The origins of the Clan MacLeod and their place in history, Newtongrange, UK, LangSyne Publishers, 2019.
To find out more about the history of Clan MacLeod click here