People will be able to look up their old class photos from Altona High School, which later became Altona Secondary College, in an exhibition culminating from almost a decade of painstaking research.

Altona Laverton Historical Society member Judith Kirkman said more than 950 class photos – with names of students – were now on display at Altona Homestead.

Between 2005 and 2013, the late Graham Griffiths collected photographs, year books and other memorabilia for every year since 1959, when the school started at four campuses – a Newport church hall and Altona’s tennis club, scout hall and Baptist church.

Ms Kirkman and other former students also rescued honour boards, pennants, trophies and other items from the school before it was demolished.

“Around Altona, it doesn’t matter what shop you go into … there’s always someone who’s an ex student,” she said.

Mr Griffiths, who died in February, also created a spreadsheet with names to go with each photo and people can search for names in digital form.

This resulted in a surprise find for Ms Kirkman.

“Because my maiden name was Forbes, I thumbed in ‘Forbes’ to see what would come out and I found a whole stack of photos of Avis Forbes, who was a 1959er.

“She was my cousin and she was killed in Cyclone Tracy in Darwin.

“I found her in three school photos, I found her in the school magazine because she’d put in a poem, and I also found out that she was a member of the softball team.”

Altona Homestead is open Tuesdays from 11am-2pm, Saturdays from 10am-12pm (except for the first Saturday of the month) and on the first Sunday of the month from 11am-3pm.

For more information visit the Altona High School/Secondary College Facebook page.