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Blessing of Hove school well worth the wait


The newest Catholic primary school in the State, McAuley Community School, and the Alive Early Learning Centre Hove were officially opened and blessed on April 29, nearly a year and a half after commencing operation.

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Despite the delay due to COVID restrictions, the opening of the  R-6 school was an opportunity to thank the many people involved in the $22 million development on the site of the former Marymount College at Hove.

Adelaide Archbishop Patrick O’Regan blessed the state-of-the-art learning facilities after a ceremony hosted by Year 6 leaders and acting principal Marianne Loftus, while Federal MP Nicolle Flint unveiled plaques for the school and early learning centre.

Archbishop O’Regan reflected on the positive effect of putting God at the centre of everything, guided by the examples of St Catherine of Sienna and the school’s namesake Catherine McAuley. He described them as two ‘Kates’ who were very ‘cool’ because they saw a need and did something about it.

South Australian Catholic Commission for Schools chair Professor Denis Ralph expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Federal and State governments for their significant capital works funding and also to architects Swanbury Penglase and builder Mossop Constructions and Interiors.

Prof Ralph thanked principal Amanda Parslow for her outstanding leadership and the energy she brought to the building of the new school and in its first year of operation during the pandemic.

He extended his deepest sympathies to Mrs Parslow and her family on the recent tragic passing of her husband Greg whose funeral was held at the school on April 23. She did not attend the opening but narrated a video showcasing the school’s innovative approach to learning.

Prof Ralph also thanked former St Teresa’s principal Peter Mercer on his involvement in the transition of students from the Brighton school to McAuley Community School.

Referring to the Mercy Sisters’ presence at St Teresa’s for more than 100 years and the Good Samaritan’s involvement with Marymount College, he welcomed Sr Marietta Green RSM and Sr Bernadina Sontrop SGS to the opening.

State Education Minister John Gardner said after seeing the school and watching the video he wished he was “seven years old and living in Hove”.

He added that the partnership the government had with Catholic Education SA had never been more pronounced than during the COVID crisis last year.

Archbishop O’Regan concluded proceedings by thanking all those involved in whatever capacity for “building on some tremendous foundations” and giving a “springboard for the future”.


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