The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Back to school to celebrate 150th


The Penola Catholic community recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the opening of St Mary MacKillop’s first schoolhouse.

Comments Print article

Among the guests at the celebration on June 16 were Lenore McKie, whose grandmother Margaret Britt and great aunt Annie Britt were students of Mary MacKillop, and John Reilly, whose grandfather Willie Patterson was a pupil. Terry Sims, a descendant of the builder, James Stark also attended.

Pamela Walker OAM, Kathryn Mules and Judith Georgeson provided music and songs, while Margaret Muller and Brian Larkin supplied the poetry. There were reminiscences from people who had been to events in the building.

An article in The Border Watch on June 15 1867 stated: ‘An examination of the children attending St Joseph’s school took place in the new stone schoolhouse and the examiners were well satisfied with their progress’.

Claire Larkin, coordinator of the Centre, said the schoolhouse remained in very good condition and was visited by many pilgrims and tourists who were most appreciative of the historic place.

“They are conscious of experiencing a building where Mary MacKillop actually taught,” she said.

After enjoying a meal in the Interpretive Centre the guests moved to the schoolhouse where a log fire provided warmth.

Anne-Marie Matuschka read a history of the schoolhouse interspersed with musical items and poems. Sr Sue McGuinness spoke in appreciation and acknowledgment of the work of parishioners and all who had recognised the significance of the old schoolhouse and ensured its preservation.


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Events stories

Loading next article