GoldenJubilee-HistoryBook - page 10-11

Mount St Benedict College Golden Jubilee
History Book
With enrolments constantly growing, the workload for
Sr Christopher and Sr Hyacinth increased. During their
tenures the building program was almost unceasing
and throughout the school’s history construction has
continued at regular intervals.
Having a full complement of year levels in 1971 was
a turning point. The critical mass generated its own
energy and a whole range of new activities and initiatives
was possible. It was a decade of firsts: yearbooks,
musicals, graduation dinners, overseas trips.
By the time Sr Christopher departed in 1973, leaving
Sr Hyacinth in charge, the old orchard separating the
convent and the College had been tamed into an oval. No
more would the Sisters’ trudge between the two places
in wet weather with shoes clumped with clay.
Embraced by the wider community, the reach of the
College had expanded, too. It was a keen participant
in interschool sports and arts activities; nearby high
schools shared their facilities when needed for functions
or exams; and the parents created a family atmosphere
as they worked together raising funds, making the
annual fete and barbecue a favourite event to which
everyone in the area was welcome.
By 1979, when Sr Hyacinth’s own term ended, the
school which wasn’t wanted by the Catholic Education
Office had nearly 800 students and a waiting list. The
hard work of establishing the College had been done.
Physically, temperamentally and spiritually its nature
had been shaped.
But a school is never a finished project. Every decade
brings its own needs to which new leaders respond. The
landmark change of the 1980s was the incorporation
of the College. Then in the 1990s the first lay and male
principal of the College was appointed – Mr Alan Moran.
This was a period of renewal and, with a refocussing of
the school’s mission, the College squared up to face the
challenges of the next millennium, not least by making a
large commitment to information technology.
In 2004 the built environment of the school was
dramatically altered with the construction of two
major new blocks and the conversion of other spaces
into new learning centres. The tiny basement school
was a distant memory.
In 2014, thinking back to the beginning, Sr Hyacinth
Roche said, ‘I can remember it all now... we managed
somehow. It was meant to be. But we always had
great help along the way, the locals and even people
sometimes not associated with the school, they’d come
and offer their help, advice.’
Sisters, staff, students, parents and good neighbours
– for fifty years they have worked together to build the
welcome school – a school for the people, by the people,
built on love and faith.
... a school for the people, by the people,
built on love and faith.”
The Convent
Mount St Benedict College Golden Jubilee
History Book
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