Our History

Cathedral School History

Cathedral School is the oldest Catholic School west of the Mountains and the oldest Catholic School in the Bathurst Diocese. It is on the site of the first Catholic Church built in Bathurst in 1839. The Church was used as a school and the girls were taught in the gallery and the boys in the body of the Church. Mr Michael Mullins McGirr taught the boys and his wife taught the girls. This school was on the corner of Keppel and George Streets where the Catholic Chancery Office is now.

In 1842 there is evidence of a Catholic School in Bathurst with 8 children, seven girls and one boy.

In 1866 the Sisters of Mercy, under the leadership of Mother Ignatius Croke, came to Bathurst and on the 5th November, five days after their arrival, they began a school with ninety children of all ages in a cottage in George Street. Three years later a new Convent and School were ready for the Sisters.

In 1903 the Infants classes became a separate school from the Primary and this remained the case for seventy five years.

St Patrick’s School for boys was on the same site. The Patrician Brothers had charge of St. Patrick’s from 1884 to 1924 and the De La Salle Brothers from 1929 to 1962. A famous ex student of these times was Ben Chifley. When the Brothers withdrew, Cathedral School became co-educational but the Infants and Primary remained separate schools with separate Principals. The Infants’ building was opened in 1976 and the Primary classes were located in the building fronting William Street.

In 1978 a lay Principal, Miss Barbara Anderson was appointed to take charge of a co-educational K-6 school, Cathedral School. The last Sister of Mercy on the staff was Sr. Marjorie Fitzgerald. (1986)

Mrs Jacqueline Hughes was Principal from 1984 – 1989, Mrs Bernadette Clark from 1990 – 1999. On 19/9/99 the new Cathedral School building was officially blessed and opened by Bishop Patrick Dougherty providing 10 new classrooms, administration offices, library and specialist Art, Music, Computer Lab and Special Education rooms. The present Principal, Mr Patrick Allen, commenced duties in January 2000.

image-for-History-pageSince the main school building was completed in 1999, significant work has been done on the development of the school grounds – shade sails, the covered outdoor learning area (COLA), the playground equipment, paving, seating, the sports courts etc.

The most recent addition to our facilities has been the Mother Ignatius Croke Centre (our school hall). This impressive facility was opened in December 2011, providing the opportunity to developed many aspects of our school life, particularly in Creative Arts.