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HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC SCHOOL

 

On 11 February, 1958, St. Joseph’s opened for the first time with seventy-three pupils. It was on 10 March of that year that St. Joseph’s School was officially blessed and opened by His Grace, Sir Guilford Young, Archbishop of Hobart.

 

The first teachers, Sisters of St Joseph. Sister Mary Joan McHugh and Sister Mary Chanel Burt took classes in a modern two-storey building, which consisted of three classrooms on the ground floor and the convent on the first floor.

 

In 1963, two more classrooms were built to meet the needs of an expanding population. This extension was built by voluntary labour organized by Father Tom Bresnehan.

 

The area around the buildings was cemented again using voluntary labour.  Parents worked together to complete this task, often using headlights of cars to provide more ‘daylight’.

 

In 1976, the Sisters of St. Joseph withdrew from St. Fursaeus’ School in Zeehan. It was decided that the children from Grades Three to Six would travel by bus to St. Joseph’s in Rosebery.  As the classrooms at Rosebery were inadequate, a two classroom demountable building was acquired.

 

Increased enrolment allowed, in 1978, single stream classes for the first time. More teachers were needed and facilities for staff, administration and three new classrooms were provided as another demountable building was purchased.

 

By 1983, St. Furaeus’ School in Zeehan had become a one-teacher school consequently employing a Principal became difficult.  As a consequence, St. Fursaeus’ became a sub-school of St. Joseph’s Rosebery.

 

In 1983, a playground was built in memory of Mr. John Druett who had had a long-standing association with the St. Joseph’s Parents and Friends Association, the School Board of Management and the Parish Council.

 

In 1991, the four main towns on the West Coast, Queenstown, Strachan, Zeehan and Rosebery, became one Parish under one Parish Priest whose residence is in Queenstown.

 

The first lay Principal was appointed to St. Joseph’s School towards the end of 1993 and in 1994, the Sisters of St. Joseph left Rosebery. They were to return again in 1997 taking up the roles of Principal and Religious Education Co-coordinator.

 

In 1995, MacKillop Hall was constructed with voluntary labour to keep the costs low. The hall was opened by Sister Carmel Jones SSJ. It is an ideal shelter for children on wet and cold days and also provides warm and adequate space for Physical Education lessons.

 

At the end of 1999, at the close of the century, the Sisters of St. Joseph once again left St. Joseph’s and the school was again administered by a lay Principal.

 

The history of St. Joseph’s School continues and took an exciting turn in 2005 when a five stage Capital Development Project was approved for the School.  Stage One/Two, comprising a new administration and concourse area, an open-sided undercover play/utility area and a refurbished Library and storeroom was completed in January 2007.  Stage Three, comprising a general purpose learning areas with adjacent covered concourse areas was completed November,  2008.

 

St. Joseph’s Golden Jubilee on 11th February 2008 was celebrated in style during April of that year.  The celebration was attended by past and present staff and students, including many of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Adrian Doyle, West Coast Parish Priest,  Fr John Girdauskas and  Fr Flannery, who first commissioned the building of St Joseph’s School in Rosebery.

 

2010 saw the completion of Stage Four of our building program. This included the removal of the original two storey convent and classroom building to be replaced with  two new classrooms and a specifically designed kindergarten and play area. 2014 saw improvement to the eating area, hall and playground.

 

And so

St. Joseph’s continues as a landmark in Rosebery,

a place where love abounds,

a place where each individual is valued

and a place where God can be found.

 


 

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