September 17, 2012
2012 marks fifty years since the first Catholic Secondary College was opened on the Bellambi site. St Paul’s College for boys was opened in 1962, followed in 1966 by the opening of Holy Cross College for girls.
|Angela Grant rsj|
The land on Cawley Road, Bellambi, had been donated to the Marist Fathers by John Cawley in 1944. It was to be used for educational purposes. The Sisters of St Joseph bought land from the Marist Fathers in order to establish Holy Cross College.
The present College, Holy Spirit College, was formed in 1983 by the amalgamation of the two former Colleges. With a co-educational enrolment of almost 1200 students, Holy Spirit College is a premier educational establishment in the Illawarra.
On Saturday evening, 8th September, 2012, there was a celebratory dinner for almost 300 people held in the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow. Several Marist Fathers attended and among the Sisters of St Joseph in attendance, two had been on the original Staff in 1966.
Ex-students from each of the three Colleges were in attendance, leading to many trips down Memory Lane. Trivia Questions related to the Colleges’ histories caused much mirth as teachers learnt something of the matters that preoccupied the students of the various eras.
On Sunday morning, 9th September, a Golden Jubilee Mass was concelebrated in the Casey-Ryder Hall, at Holy Spirit College. One celebrant, Fr Michael Mullins had been a teacher at St Paul’s in its early years while Fr Paul Cooney was an ex-student.
Organised tours around the College site amazed ex-students as they saw the vastly expanded facilities now available to students.
Holy Spirit College has as its motto, LIVE BY THE TRUTH. This motto takes its origin from the words in St John’s Gospel :But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done through God.
The Marist Fathers and the Sisters of St Joseph congratulate the Holy Spirit College community on their dedication to continuing the tradition of Catholic Education for the young people of the Illawarra today.