St Benedict's School History

 

 

In 1927 when Box Hill became a Parish, Burwood was established.  Father Norman Clack was the first Parish Priest.  In 1931 he built the first Church Hall and named the Parish after St. Benedict, the father of Western Monasticism.

On February 2nd 1941 St. Benedict’s school commenced with 25 children. The school grew to 200 children with two Sion Sisters and several lay teachers who made up the teaching staff.  The first staff were Mother Marie Augustine de Sion (Teresa Peppard) and Sister Marie Edwardine de Sion (Frances McGrath).

 

In 1953 St. Benedict’s was declared an autonomous parish and Fr. Bernard Dillon was appointed Parish Priest.  The Notre Dame de Sion sisters left St. Benedict’s school at the end of 1953 to establish a parish school in Blackburn.  The Marist sisters commenced their work at St. Benedict’s in 1954. Mother Paulin La Roche was principal

 

In June of 1954 the classes were as follows:

Prep and Grade 1 –Sr. de Montford with 101 students

Grade 2 –Sr. Gabriel with 96 students

Grade 3&4 -Sr. Evangelista with 73 students

Grade 5&6 – Mother Paulin with 38 students

 

In 1956 there were 420 students enrolled. In 1960 there were 630 students enrolled and the school now incorporated a secondary school with classes to Form 4. There were 523 students at the primary level and 103 students at the secondary level. At this time there were 8 Marist sisters and 3 lay staff teaching in the school.

 

In 1955, under the direction of Fr. Dillon, the building of additional classrooms, two lunch rooms and a staffroom commenced

In 1956- a further twelve classrooms, two tennis courts and a scout hall/tennis pavilion were constructed.

First Communion Boys 1960First Communion Girls 1960

First Communion Boys & Girls 1960

 

In 1966 St. Benedict’s received full secondary registration. The secondary school was to be called Chavoin College. It opened at the beginning of the 1967 school year and was separate to St. Benedict’s primary school.

 

Staff 1972

School Staff 1972

 

The principals of St. Benedict’s and Chavoin College both had full time teaching roles as well as administrative and leadership duties.  The school buildings now in use were opened in 1973.

1973 Grade 6

Grade 6, 1973

 

The Marist sisters worked in the parish until the end of 1992:

 

Principals of St. Benedict’s include:

• Sr. Paulin La Roche SM 1954-1958

• Sr. Jeanne-Marie Burke SM 1959-1966

• Sr. Marie Clarke SM 1967-1971

• Sr. Philomena Hall SM 1972-1973 

• Tom Cameron took over as the first lay Principal in 1973 until 1980

• Tony Breen -1981 -1986

• Ann Burke 1987-1989

• Bhodana Moss 1989- 1996

• Louise Mackay 1997-2007

• Barry McLellan 2008-present day