There has never been a year in the history of Carmel Adventist College where financial difficulty has not been a challenge. The school was enthusiastically started largely on contributions from the relatively few members of the West Australian Conference. Some made cash contributions; others gave livestock or voluntary labour. But all were rejoicing that a school had started, enabling their young people to receive an education to prepare them for service.
Starting a school and developing and maintaining it are two aspects of one costly exercise. It would appear that early enthusiasm within Western Australian was not sustained. The constant demands for more money to meet development and maintenance costs; poor seasons for the farming community; the impact of the two world wars; one financial depression; and constantly increasing fees, all contributed to a lessening of support for the school.
In spite of the fluctuating enrolments at the West Australian Missionary School, the need to extend the boarding facilities and bring them under one roof became a priority. It seems surprising that under such prevailing adverse financial circumstances the denomination would, between 1924 and 1926, press ahead with a major building enterprise, but such proved to be the case. The decision to proceed proved fortuitous in light of the effects of the Depression and World War II on the building industry.1
Action was taken on August 26, 1925, to change the name from the institution of “Darling Range School” to “West Australian Missionary School”2, and again in 1932 to “West Australian Missionary College”3
1. Glimpses of Carmel Adventist College, 2007, p38-39
2. Australasian Union Conference (AUC) minutes, August 26, 1925
3. AUC Minutes, August 29, 1932
4. Photograph: This original building, built around the Ashcroft home, was demolished over the summer of 1924-25 to be rebuilt as the boys dormitory wing on the new College building further up the valley.