By Matthew Lau
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School Nollamara celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special landmark Mass on Friday 25 May.
The Nollamara-based single stream school has some 210 pupils enrolled from pre-kindergarten to year six.
The Mass was celebrated by Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG with concelebrants Mgr Brian O’Loughlin, Nollamara Parish Priest Fr Stan Bendkowski, and Fr Laurence Murphy SDS.
In attendance for the occasion were previous principals, foundation teachers from 1958, former board chairpersons in addition past and present students.
Altogether, about 350 people were present for the day.
Mark Ryan, Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes, said the school was blessed to have had foundation teachers Sisters Teresa Daly and Mary Stephen attend the anniversary.
“We had a morning tea and cake for all of the invited guests, some of the parents brought along food, and some of the old students had a bit of a tour of the school to see how the school has changed,” Mr Ryan said.
Due to poor weather conditions, the array of activities organised for the children were postponed to the following week.
Mr Ryan said Our Lady of Lourdes strives to continue being an excellent Catholic school of the Perth Archdiocese.
“A good school relies on its staff to deliver a wide range of aspects, including the curriculum, the social side of things, the well-being of all the students, and the pastoral care. We have all of those things in place,” he explained.
“Being a good Catholic school means that our belief in God is there and that we all have that same belief that Jesus created for us, we want to live our life like Him as a guide, and we want to really portray that message: to live your life as a good person as Jesus wanted us to do.
“We really instil that in our students, to live their lives as good people – to show them what that means is really important.”
Sr Teresa Daly, 92, was one of the foundation teachers in 1958 for one year.
“There was three of us,” she recalled. “There was Sr Angela in charge, and Sr Mary and myself. We taught in a church building that gave us three rooms.
“I taught in the part that has the Blessed Sacrament, and, of course, each morning Fr Kelly took the Blessed Sacrament out. It was a privilege that the class I was teaching could be there to witness,” Sr Daly expressed.
The Nollamara community has been one of the highlights Mr Ryan’s time as Principal of the primary school over the past two years.
“It’s just the way they really get behind whatever is happening, they are very supportive and they’ve made me feel really welcome.
“It’s nice to know that when you do things, like the 60th anniversary, that the community is going to get behind what you do and will do what they can to support the school,” he concluded.
The staff of Our Lady of Lourdes School are planning to bury a time capsule and have an artwork created to commemorate the school’s 60th year.