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Our History

St Patrick's Parish Primary School is part of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and situated at the Gateway of the Riverina, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai, NSW.

The first settlers arrived in the Gundagai district around 1826. The township of Gundagai began to grow on the river flats. In 1846 a land grant was made to the Catholic Church. This grant was to the north of the town on the slopes of Mt Parnassus.

Gundagai became the site of Australia's worst natural disaster in 1852 when flood devastated the town. Consequently, the town site was moved off the flats and up towards Mt Parnassus. The Catholic land grant now lay in the centre of town!

St Patrick's has been offering children a catholic education in Gundagai since 1876. Back then, classes took place in the Church, which was converted into a school room during the week.

In 1886 four Sisters of Mercy commenced teaching in Gundagai under the leadership of Sister Stanislaus. The Gundagai Times (dated 8 October, 1886) reported that 150 children were enrolled at the school, with an average daily attendance of 115. The School was run entirely from donations made by the people, and it was a credit to the people of St Patrick's Parish that the school survived at all. A convent was built for the Sisters of Mercy in 1890.

Enrolments continued to grow and proper school rooms were needed. A new school was finished in February 1900 and Bishop Gallagher named the school St Stanislaus School after Sister Stanislaus who had led the Mercy Sisters to Gundagai and run the school for thirteen years.

The Sisters of Mercy left Gundagai in 1963 and were replaced by the Salvadorian Sisters from England and America. These Sisters only stayed for four years and at the end of 1968 were replaced by the Holy Faith Sisters. Under their guidance, the School continued to grow and it was decided to build new classrooms further up the hill onto the Presbytery which would be converted into part of the school as well. The infants classrooms opposite the church were converted into the Presbytery (still used today).

In 1979, with the opening of the new school (at our current location) the name of the school changed back to St Patrick's. To meet the students' growing needs, further building and renovation programs have since been undertaken to provide the facilities we have today: modern classrooms, a sun-safe playing environment, landscaped garden areas, a larger library and growing computer resources.

We are proud of our history and the school we have today. St Patrick's now stands on the one campus block and is no longer divided by First Avenue. The children have a modern library, new classrooms, networked computers, an efficient Administration Area, enclosed and reinforced boundary fences, shade areas, adventure playgrounds and an all-purpose, semi-enclosed weather shed.

 

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