St James the Greater
The School name of St James’ was chosen from among those recommended by the Anglican Schools Commission (Inc.) Naming Sub-Committee.
St James the Greater – derived from his age, not status – has often been symbolised by a scallop shell. Not only was he a fisherman until he and his brother John were called by Jesus, but the scallop shell is also a symbol of pilgrimage. James is mentioned as the first of the disciples to go on a missionary journey. Scallop shells not only reflect this heritage of St James and are the symbol of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain with which by legend he has been linked, but they also reflect the coastal region of Alkimos. Furthermore, scallop shells are also used in many churches for the pouring of water in Baptism, of new life in Christ. It is therefore appropriate that the scallop shell is a prominent symbol in the St James’ Anglican School crest.
St James is also the first of the Apostles recorded as being martyred for his faith – Acts 12.2 – circa 44AD by King Herod Agrippa I: “He [King Herod] had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword”. In many depictions relating to St James, the cross of St James is pointed at the base. In some depictions a sword is shown while in other images relating to St James a pilgrim’s staff is shown. A cross with a pointed base is another key symbol in the St James’ Anglican School crest.
Alkimos Brief History
On March 20, 1963 the ill-fated Greek freighter and former Liberty ship, SS Alkimos struck a reef near Beagle Island, some 240 km to the north of Fremantle, while on a voyage from Jakarta to Bunbury. This mishap was the start of a disastrous chain of events that saw the vessel impounded in Fremantle Harbour, run aground on two further occasions and finally sold for scrap in the following year. Five days after running aground at Beagle Island, Alkimos was freed and towed into Fremantle for temporary repairs, only to be impounded in May for non-payment of debts. This matter was quickly resolved and a tug was chartered to tow Alkimos to Hong Kong for further repairs. The vessel finally left on May 30, but within hours of leaving Fremantle the tow-line snapped and gale force winds drove the ship ashore near Wreck Point, 56 km north of Perth.
For four months the ship remained stranded, left to ride out the winter storms. A caretaker was put aboard and during that time stories of bizarre and ghostly events appeared in the press. In January 1964, the tug, Pacific Star arrived to pump out Alkimos and tow it Manila. Two attempts were made to refloat the 7,291-ton ship but each time the tow lines parted and it again ran aground. A month later the tug succeeded in securing Alkimos but before it could be towed away, Pacific Star was arrested and escorted back to Fremantle, leaving Alkimos anchored in deep water. In May 1964, the vessel broke anchor and was driven onto the Eglinton Rocks near present-day Yanchep. On this occasion it was more severely damaged, and all thought of salvaging it intact was abandoned.
It was later sold by the owners for scrap. However, in 1969, salvage workers were driven off the wreck by a fire. One of the salvage workers also reported hearing ghostly noises. After that time, the partly dismantled remains of the ship sat in several metres of water, visible to visitors, but gradually disintegrating.