150th Anniversary History Book

Copies of our 150th Anniversary Book compiled by Catriona Banks from Retrospective Archiving are available for $25.00 by phoning 9419 4918.


Gilbert K. Chesterton once said, “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

It is with a very deep sense of pride that I acknowledge the generations of teachers, students and families that have contributed to this community as we reflect on 150 wonderful years of education at St Joseph’s Collingwood. What an extraordinary milestone!

For the past eighteen years I have had the privilege of serving this vibrant and dynamic parish school. During that time I have witnessed many changes but one thing hasn’t changed in 150 years - our school holds a very important place in the lives of so many families, past and present. Staff at St Joseph’s school recognise that we have been given an extraordinary privilege which, of course, comes with enormous responsibility. We are called to interact so closely with children in order to give them the very best in care and education. We also know that as teachers in a Catholic School, we are called upon to present the face of Jesus Christ to all that we meet. St Joseph’s school is so special because it has always provided an environment where Gospel values and a thirst for excellence are the driving force.

Our school had humble beginnings in the 1850s and 60s when a number of early schools, established by private individuals, merged to form St Joseph’s School on the current Otter St site. These schools were run by dedicated teams of lay principals and teachers.

In December 1891, the Sisters of Charity came to Collingwood and remained at St Joseph’s until the end of 1993 when I took the reigns as the first lay principal since 1890. The Sisters of Charity left a wonderful legacy. They worked tirelessly in the pursuit of excellence in care for the students and their families, in promoting the religious dimension of the school and ensuring that students were provided with the very best opportunities to further their learning. I take this opportunity, on behalf of our school community, to thank the Sisters of Charity for the love and guidance they provided to St Joseph’s for more than 100 years.

We are grateful too, for the ongoing care and support of the Parish Priests who have given tirelessly to this community throughout the past 150 years. I would particularly like to thank those Parish Priests with whom I have worked for the past 18 years; Fr Michael Casey, Fr Barry King, Fr Ted Cumbo, Fr Ernie Smith, Archbishop Tim Costelloe, Fr Peter Varengo and Fr Peter Hoang.

To all Principals and staff, past and present, whose dedication to St Joseph’s School has been unwavering, we extend our thanks for all you have done to enable the hopes and dreams of each child who has passed through St Joseph’s to be realised.

To all of the students and families who have passed through St Joseph’s School, we thank you for the richness and diversity which you have brought with you and for the contributions you have made to this wonderful school.

As we celebrate the past 150 years we remember the contributions of each and every person who had a connection with our school and look forward to a future of hope and optimism. I am sure that each of you has your own special memories and I hope that some of these come to light again when you read this booklet. I finish by thanking Catriona Banks who has carefully and painstakingly compiled it for us.

Mrs Patricia Taylor