BALLARAT Clarendon College's 150 year celebrations at the weekend started with a bang: a dramatic fireworks display on Saturday night launched from the school's clock tower.
Sunday's festivities were more sedate with a founders day celebratory service at St Andrew's Kirk and then a cutting of the birthday cake.
"College", as it is affectionately known, will mark a century and a half of its history on July 6, but the party coincided with the Queen's Birthday weekend so more people could attend.
And came they did, with 400 of the school's supporters attending a dinner, including two old collegians - Colin Jesse and John Berry - all the way from Hong Kong.
Guest speakers were two College alumni, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra associate conductor Ben Northey and journalist Alex Patrikios.
Ballarat Clarendon College principal David Shepherd said the weekend was intended to honour the thousands of old collegians who had made the grand old school what it is today.
"I think honouring our history is important. It is important to show we are proud to be part of the community," Mr Shepherd said.
Ballarat College opened in 1864 in the wooden building, which served as the temporary Presbyterian church from 1858 until it was replaced by the existing St Andrew's bluestone church.
The wooden building was itself replaced by a brick school building on the same site in 1874, before the school moved to its present location adjacent to St Patrick's College in Sturt Street in 1912.
While this weekend was the focal point of the anniversary, it marked just one element of a year-long celebration.
Earlier events included the opening of the David Sewell Pavilion late last year and a picnic on the school oval on March 1. A showcase concert, also to celebrate the 150th anniversary, will be held on August 3.