slide3

Our school has a long history...

Our Story : The history of Sacred Heart Primary School, Yarrawonga

1883: The Yarrawonga Chronicle reported in August 1883, that the new church is beginning to show itself prominently in the background of the town... According to newspaper reports, the building entered into its last week of construction on the 18th October, 1883. The report goes on to say that 'the building would accommodate 800 souls'. It seems that here the writer was becoming a little enthusiastic – 800 souls may have fitted into the building but certainly not with 800 accompanying bodies. The new church (or chapel) was situated where the brick church now stands. In November, the Temperance Society, St. Mary's C.T.A., held a ball in the new church. This was followed on the 27th of November by a Grand Concert and Ball. The concert and ball were held to raise money for the funds of the new church. The Parish of Sacred Heart, Yarrawonga was actually formed when Fr. M. Kennedy arrived to take up his duties as the first pastor.

1885: Church finished construction on October 18. The presbytery was built. It was replaced in 1934 but the original cellar is still intact.

1886: Catholic Bazaar to raise money for Church building. Fr. Kennedy announces that the Sisters of Mercy nuns are coming to Yarrawonga. St. Brendan's School, Burramine, built. The Burramine community established their Catholic school at much the same time as Yarrawonga. Soon after the church was consecrated in 1886, the school was built.

1887: The Burramine School opens in February with Miss Henry as teacher.

1889: Foundation stone for Convent is laid. Original Convent buildings erected.

1890: Sisters of Mercy left Wexford, Ireland and arrived in Yarrawonga on the 18th of April. On Monday, April 28th, the Primary school which had been operating for approximately 3 and a half years, now re-opened with four Sisters of Mercy in charge with an enrolment of 74. The High School opened on the 12th of May with an enrolment of 10. A second Primary School was set up within the Convent of Mercy for those children whose parents had paid to send them to the Boarding School or for those parents who paid fees for the more exclusive and broader education offered within the Convent Primary. The first School Mass was celebrated on the 24th of May.

1894: Convent annual ball held on skating rink.

1898: Farewell of Miss E. Hanrahan, Head Teacher from 1894. Her place was taken by Miss French, mother of Fr. Thomas who was Parish Priest from 1974 to 1993. Second half of Convent building started and completed in 1900.

1904: Old Church becomes school. The old church had been moved from its original site to near the corner of Piper and Murphy Streets. This building had been extended to cater for the ever increasing enrolments but the building was regularly used as a hall and this caused continual inconvenience of moving desks etc. With the arrival of Fr. Mahoney moves were made to build a worthy school in memory of Yarrawonga's beloved pastor, Fr. Madden, who had only recently passed away.

1905: Boarder facilities established- the new dressing room for boarders was erected and fitted with hot and cold water. Boarders slept in small dormitories and on the balcony. The new Catholic Church was built on the site on which the first church had been erected. It was decided that the first church should be moved down to the Convent land on the corner of Piper and Murphy Streets. The new church of the Sacred Heart, Yarrawonga, was opened on Sunday, April 30 by His Lordship Dr. Reville, Bishop of Sandhurst.

1909: Hall was built for school but closed in 1925 when Yarrawonga Shire Hall was built.

1919-1920: The school was built and used for a time in 1920 before it was officially blessed and opened by Bishop McCarthy in 1921.

1923-26: Sewerage installed. 1925: Burramine South Catholic School is closed. Vera Connell was the last teacher in a school which had served its community for 38 years.

1933: A decision was made to replace the original presbytery.

1934: Presbytery completed.

1939: The Convent of Mercy celebrated its Golden Jubilee in October.

1945: The Sacred Heart Mothers' Club was founded.

1962-63: New Parish Sacred Heart High School was erected and opened. Classrooms at the Old Convent were used for science, dressmaking and commercial classes.

1967: Boarding School closes.

1968: Two classrooms and administration area added and the original rooms refurbished at a cost of $25,000. This new school, together with the old hall, proved to be adequate for many years to come.

1976: The Fathers' Club erected the shelter shed.

1979: The Tuckshop and Domestic Science Room (now the Computer Room) were added by the Mothers' and Fathers' Clubs. A new wing was added to the school containing the classrooms facing Coghill Street, a library, a quiet room, a teachers' prep room, a store room and new toilets. This new wing was blessed and opened by Bishop Daly on March 30, 1980.

1981: The yard was concreted and garden beds added and at this time the boys' toilet had been renovated and roofed. Principal was Sr. Joan Nippard, with an enrolment of 217 and a staff of 12.

1993: The original school was demolished and replaced with 5 classrooms, administration area, staffroom, boys' toilet and verandah. The existing classrooms were refurbished, all at a cost of $900,000.

1994: Sisters of Mercy withdraw from school in December.

1995: Mr. Michael O'Dwyer appointed as the first lay Principal.

1998: Major extension to playground equipment.

1999: Blessing of Old Convent's renovations and refurbishments.

2000: Computer room set up and running in the previous Domestic Science Room. School computer network installed.

2001: Computer Technology area completed. Additional classroom and Multi Purpose Building constructed. Principal is Mr. Shane Nolen with an enrolment of 280.

2002: Two additional portable classrooms added. Refurbishment of library and Teacher resource room takes place.

2003: Refurbishment of Rooms 7 & 8. New Reading Recovery Room and new entrance at Coghill Street erected.

2006: Portable classroom installed. Mr Anthony Hunter is appointed as Principal.

2008: Mercy Assembly Area is completed and blessed by Father Steve Bohan.

2008: The Parish Meeting Room is converted to a classroom to cater for the increasing school numbers. Student enrolment is 365 with 15 classes and a staff of 34.