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Our History

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St Carthage's Primary - then and now

St Carthage’s School was opened with an enrolment of 70 students on 11 October 1886 under the leadership of Mother Carthage Price, a Presentation Sister from Ireland. The 50-foot by 25-foot building was erected in less than a month and could seat some 200 students.

The Marist Brothers came to Lismore in 1911 and taught the boys in Years 4, 5 and 6. After 60 years of frequent flooding, the flood of 1945 took its toll on the old building. The original school, now crammed with some 400 students, was replaced with a new school and moved to higher ground.

In 1967, the first Co-ed School for Years 11 and 12 students was built on the grounds of St Carthage’s School. This is now our Kinder to Year 2 classrooms.

From 1971 to 1981, because of increasing enrolments, Year 3 students were bussed each day to the old school at North Lismore, formerly staffed by the Presentation Sisters.

In 1977, following the introduction of co-education in Years 7 – 12, the Primary boys at Marist were transferred to St Carthage’s, and the K – 2 classes took over the original Years 11 and 12 schools, except for the science rooms in the top floor. Sister June Cole was the Principal, and Brother John Wells was the Deputy. Three Year 3 classrooms were added in 1981, and four Year 6 classrooms in 1983. Two demountable buildings were also installed in 1983 to cater for the growing enrolments and the restructuring of the school. The School celebrated its Centenary in 1986 with the theme: ‘Give Thanks with Joy!’ Sister Julia O’Sullivan was our last Presentation Principal from 1985 to 1989.

In 1990, Brother Pius Badior became the first Marist Principal of St Carthage’s. Active involvement of the Marist Brothers ceased at the end of 1996 when Brother Jerome Hickman completed his term as Principal. It was in this same year that the Admin, Library and Staffroom complex was built.

Following the death of Sister Maria Thomas (School Librarian for many years) in 1998, St Carthage’s was staffed fully by lay staff. St Carthage’s School these days is a feeder school for St John’s College, Lismore, and Trinity Catholic College, Lismore, both high schools being part of our Lismore Parish family.

In 2011, St Carthage’s celebrated its 125th birthday and also completed a multi-million-dollar upgrade that included classroom refurbishment, an upgrade of technology and a new hall. In 2012, Our Lady of Lourdes Infants School amalgamated with St Carthage’s school.