In April 1919, the Mayor of Kadina, Mr Paul Roach, and a committee of concerned citizens, held an appeal to raise money for a war memorial to commemorate local men and women who served in the Great War (WWI).
At that time secondary education in the district was only available at the Wallaroo Mines District High School. Even then however, the future of the Mines was in doubt, and as the facilities and space for secondary education were limited at Wallaroo mines, sections of both Kadina and Wallaroo communities began planning for a new high school in their towns.
However, Mr Roach and his committee pledged the sum of one thousand pounds towards the building of a high school at Kadina, and the corporation and rate payers agreed to grant a site of eight acres of parklands near the already established Kadina Primary School.
The South Australian government accepted both offers and plans were drawn up for the new Kadina High School to be known as the Kadina Memorial High School, as it was partly a memorial to the ex-service men and women of World War I.
In April 1923, the Mayor announced a public meeting to organise fundraising activities for the 13,500 Wunderlich tiles for the roof. During the next few months there were many varied fundraising efforts.
One thousand two-coloured badges of suitable design were ordered for sale by school children for one shilling each. In June 1923, a benefit football match was held, between teams representing Kadina and Moonta, ‘B’grade. A roller skating carnival in the Kadina Showgrounds Rink, and an Old Scholars Ball were held, raising £47.
In August there was a benefit film night with community singing (special songs were contributed by Miss V Narroway and Mr W. Dobbie). In September 1923 the Minister of Education announced in the House of Assembly that the new building would be occupied in January 1924, with accommodation for 250 pupils. During September and October concerts were arranged and presented by Miss M Johnson and the children from the Kadina Primary School, the Wallaroo Mines School and Girl’s Clubs, to raise money for the tiled roof. Flowers were sold in the street every Friday to swell the funds.
The new school was opened in January, 1924 with seven staff members and Headmaster Mr E P Rowe, BA.
Over 1,000 people attended the official opening of Kadina Memorial High School, on June 26th 1924.
One of the speakers the Hon L L Hill said that the contract price had been £6,389 but £7,283 had been spent.
The Song of Australia was sung with gusto, the pubic were invited to inspect the school and admire the spacious, brightly decorated classrooms and the displays of work. Afternoon tea was served and the great day was over.