St Mary’s College Seymour welcomed back some old faces last Friday as it officially opened its new administration wing.
Sister Mary Dennett, who was principal of the school from 1980 until 1985, had the honour of opening the building, which current principal Peter Kelly said was the brain child of Monsignor Toms, the school’s former parish priest.
Mr Kelly said many years ago Monsignor Toms encouraged the staff faculty to imagine a new administration building in the space which was until recently a patch of dirt.
‘‘We’re very proud today to say that we’ve realised that dream,’’ Mr Kelly said.
‘‘I visited Mons in the holidays and took with me a lot of photos of the new building, the gardens, the car park and he was thrilled to see them and know that his idea had come to life.
‘‘We also joked that because we have already named the science wing in his honour we probably wouldn’t do it a second time. But it does highlight for us all the huge contribution Mons Toms made to our school community over more than 20 years and how his legacy remains.’’
Sister Dennett said she was delighted to be present for what was a special day for the St Mary’s College community.
‘‘The Sisters of Mercy first came here in 1900 from Mansfield, which had a school before the sisters came to Seymour ... and travelling from Mansfield to Seymour back then wouldn’t have been a very pleasant journey,’’ Sister Dennett said.
‘‘But ever since then Catholic education has been available at this site for the people of Seymour and the surrounding towns.’’
Reflecting on the significant change visible at St Mary’s College since the 1980s, Sister Dennett said when she was principal of the school, it had just the single building and needed to rely on portable class rooms.
‘‘The administration building and the surroundings we see now, is another expression of development and these facilities enable quality education, so that people continue to live and grow here,’’ Sister Dennett said.
‘‘I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this development. The beautification of the entrance to the college, as well as the new building, contributes to the benefit of all, in providing an environment where education is valued.
‘‘It enhances the life of the college, and I’m honoured to unveil the plaque that commemorates this special day.’’
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson, once a student at St Mary’s College herself, said it was a great day for the school and the local community.
‘‘We are lucky to have many wonderful public and private schools across our shire and it’s fantastic to see improvements like this which will enhance the education experience,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘Facilities like the new St Mary’s administration building are an important part of this and it is great to see more investment in education in Seymour, which shows a real confidence in what the town has to offer.’’