Centenary festivities were officially launched on 24 February 2018, when former students and staff joined the school’s existing community to remember the past and look forward to the future.
Religious Education Co-ordinator Nada Luksic said the day was a chance to honour the connections attendees had forged at the school and their fond memories of their time there – no matter how recent or far removed.
“There was a real sense of history,” she said.
“We had two and three generation families come along, all of whom had attended St Anthony’s.”
The school was first opened and blessed by Archbishop Kelly on 20 January 1918. It met in a single-storey structure shared with the church, and the student body comprised just 45 pupils.
Today the school is still tight-knit, with a single class per year group, and its busy learners utilise modern facilities and benefit from the most up to date teaching and learning methods.
This evolution was reflected in a playground historical walk set up for the official launch of the school’s 100-year celebration, which guided viewers through a photographic history of St Anthony’s from 1017 to present day.
Our vision is still to help students grow into confident individuals
This historical focus continued inside the school’s classrooms, which were left open to the public so students could welcome in family members and those who has previously attended or worked at the school could see how things had changed.
SMART Boards were used to play interviews with current and former students and staff and show photos from historical school events, and members of the school community also presented stories and performances that reflected the school’s past and present.
Ex-student Bishop Dave Walker and Parish Priest Father Pawel Kopczynski con-celebrated Mass, and afterwards guests, including Executive Director Dr Dan White and Eastern Region Director Elizabeth O’Carrigan, stayed to enjoy morning tea.
Ms Luksic said the school’s history is still a crucial part of its identity, and modern school values reflect the hard work of those who made it great.
“The charisms of our founding orders, the presentation sisters, the Josephite sisters and St Anthony, are reflected in our school motto ‘Love and service’,” she said.
“Our vision is still to help students grow into confident individuals, creative minds and connected learners.”