Students past and present celebrated 25 years of strong family bonds and fond memories of schooling at the St Mary’s Fete on Saturday.
This year marks 25 years since the school opened in its Frank Gilbert Drive location after the former St Mary’s Primary School in Barolin Street and the Holy Spirit School in Elliott Heads Road were combined in 1994 under the banner of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.
St Mary’s Primary School secretary Alison Carr was one of the original students who started her schooling at the Holy Spirit School and moved with the school to St Mary’s when it opened at its current location.
Alison’s four children also attended St Mary’s and she said the school had played a big part in her family’s life.
“It was a small school when I started; we only had 12 children in the class and it was a two-teacher school,” Alison said.
“It was lovely being part of a small school and now decades later I really enjoy working here.
“It’s been part of our family for such a long time, we have had children here for 18 years and it was nice to get the job here so I could return to St Mary’s even after the children had finished!”
St Mary's family bond
Alison’s daughter Emma and son Lachlan both attended the St Mary’s Fete to celebrate the momentous occasion.
“It’s really a good school and I have sort of come full circle from a student to now working here and it’s nice all of my children also came here,” Alison said.
Emma started her schooling in 2002 and said she had fond memories of her time at the school, which inspired her to follow the career path of the many teachers who made a positive impact of her life.
“It was a great school to go through, there were so many amazing teachers and so many opportunities were given to me, whether it was through sport or music,” Emma said.
“The atmosphere at this school is very welcoming and warm.
“I was very excited to hear they were holding the fete again when I did my university placement here recently, so I thought I would come back and help out and see the kids again.”
Lachlan said his favourite memories from his time at St Mary’s Primary School were the sporting events.
“The sports days were always a highlight and the best days of the year!” Lachlan said.
The significant 25-year milestone of St Mary’s Fete was a celebration of both community and fellowship with stalls of pet rocks and books and craft made by the students, and among all the fun and entertainment there were performances by the St Mary’s Concert Band students and alumni, who returned to play alongside the current students.
School principal Madonna Davitt has been at St Mary’s since 2006 and said the fete was once on the annual calendar, but it hadn’t been held for the last decade and it was nice to bring it back for such an important anniversary.
- Earlier report: St Mary’s School fete celebrates 25 years