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Barcaldine School celebrates 125 Years

17 November, 2022
St Joseph’s Principal Trent Shillington with Bishop Michael addressing the guests,

After a year-long postponement due to the pandemic, the St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School community in Barcaldine celebrated their 125 Year Anniversary in grand style recently.

Director Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton (CEDR) Leesa Jeffcoat said the joyous and memorable celebration was a great way to commemorate the school’s significant milestone. “St Joseph’s is our second oldest continually operating school in the diocese and it was delightful that so many past and present community members gathered to celebrate and give thanks for the significant contribution this vibrant and faith-filled school has brought to the Barcaldine region over the past 125 years,” Miss Jeffcoat said. She thanked the organisers for their hard work in planning and presenting a meaningful and enjoyable celebration for all who attended.

St Joseph’s Principal Trent Shillington said the event had been many months in the planning and organisers were thrilled to finally host the weekend’s celebrations with the local and wider community, and in particular those who had travelled for the occasion.  “It was a highly anticipated celebration and it was so pleasing to be able to gather with so many whose lives have been touched by this wonderful community and commemorate this remarkable occasion in the life of St Joseph’s,” Mr Shillington said.

Festivities began with 6pm Mass on Friday 28 October at Sacred Heart Catholic Church presided by Bishop Michael McCarthy, followed by a Meet and Greet function at the Barcaldine Town Hall.

A tribute to the Sisters of Mercy who established St Joseph’s in 1896 was a highlight of the evening, according to Catholic Education Assistant Director: Schools -Western Region, Tim Collins.  “The presence of Sr Denise Hinton (representing Sr Anne Keim – Northern Community Leader), Sr Rita Connor (30 years in Barcaldine) and Sr Justina Beford (last Religious Principal at St Joseph’s) provided a wonderful connection to the Sisters of Mercy and their incredible contribution to St Joseph’s and the community of Barcaldine,” Mr Collins said.

Celebrations continued over the weekend with the Derby Day Races at the Barcaldine Racing Club on Saturday and an Open Day, History Walk and High Tea on Sunday.

Throughout the History Walk, current St Joseph’s students acted out key moments in the school’s past which was very much enjoyed by all in attendance.

Many hours were spent reconnecting and reminiscing about past school days with a pleasing number of out-of-town visitors making a special trip to join in the celebrations.