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Our Lady's Mount Opening Ceremony in 1911


(By Telegraph)

TOWNSVILLE, January 22, 1911.
The opening of the Townsville Christian Brother's School took place to-day before a large gathering.

Bishop Duhig performed the opening ceremony. The building has cost altogether 6676/11/1, and the amount subscribed was 2527/4/6, including the late Father Walsh's legacy of 2000.

The collection taken up at the school this afternoon amounted to 303/3/-.


Our Lady's Mount, Stanton Hill, Townsville


Catholic Education in Queensland
Volume III
Page 23

Written by Susan Mary Tobin

If Townsville had to wait until after the establishment of the school in Charters Towers, it also had to wait for the settlement of a wrangle over staffing the cathedral school in Sydney where church authorities were not all that interested in north Queensland.  'After all, what is Townsville but a stewing pan.' Fr. Walsh's dream of a Christian Brothers' school in Townsville became a reality after his death and partly because of his bequest of 2,000.  Though Our Lady's Mount was set up in an old museum extended for school purposes, Bishop Duhig waxed lyrical about its being 'hard to find in the Commonwealth a school better appointed in all respects than this.'  A pupil of the school, unimpressed by the same pile of architecture, later recalled 'I don't know how the crowd survived the afternoon's ordeal (on opening day), for that middle room was always warm and badly ventilated..'

In Townsville, very few Catholic boys attended the Grammar school there and it was not long before a spirit of co-operation developed between it and Our Lady's Mount.  Mr. D. Whelan, resident master at Townsville Grammar, assisted the brothers by teaching a special senior class in Latin, mathematics and ancient history at the brothers' residence from four o'clock till five forty-five each weekday, and from nine to half past twelve on Saturdays.  His efforts and those of the brothers brought a higher than average percentage of successes in public examinations.   The popularity of the brothers' work in the town prompted Fr. J. Rowan to make a formal request for brothers to establish a school at West End in the early 1920s, and though it looked for a time as though the move might succeed, nothing came of it.

Our Lady's Mount may have had one of the best views in Townsville, but its situation on Stanton Hill meant a daily climb for pupils and little room for expansion, though necessary additional class and science rooms were erected as needs arose.  Part of the problem was alleviated in 1952 with the opening of St. John Fisher's, Currajong, which relieved Our Lady's Mount of some of the primary boys.  In 1961, the old boys' association presented the brothers with a golden jubilee gift, a large tract of Aitkenvale land.  The opening of Ignatius Park there in August 1969 enabled the brothers to extend their  educational offerings in Townsville in ways  that were previously impossible because of the  limitations of the Stanton Hill property and its distance from the population growth areas in the town.  Though Our Lady's Mount was closed at the end of the year, Ignatius Park continued the spirit of the original school, meeting new educational needs as they arose.


olm06.jpg (32470 bytes)
Brother's Residence 24 Dec 1971
after Cyclone Althea


OLM Senior Class of 1966


Saint John Fishers School Currajong


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This page first produced 25 April 1998

This page last updated 25 April 1998