Our History

 

 

Shortly after the completion of St Gregory’s Church in 1850, a church-school operated on the MacQuoid Street site until a purpose built facility appeared on the same parcel of land in 1857. Catholic education had been provided by lay teachers in Queanbeyan since 1852 when St Gregory’s Denominational School was opened. The school continued under the supervision of priests and school boards until 1879 where the Good Samaritan Sisters conducted a “Higher School for Ladies”. However, at the end of that year, the Sisters assumed responsibility for the education of all Catholic students in Queanbeyan and surrounding regions and continued in their teaching role for the next one hundred years. From 1879 to 1987, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan conducted schools variously at St Benedict’s Isabella Street, St Gregory’s Lowe Street, and Sacred Heart Crest Road, with the Marist Brothers being at MacQuoid Street between 1962 and 1984. The several Catholic school sites were amalgamated in 1987 and remained on three different sites until 2003 when the Crest Road Campus was closed and students moved to the MacQuoid Street Campus. The school is staffed by lay teachers under the auspices of St Gregory’s Parish and the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Catholic Education Office.

 

Colours

In 1988, following the registration of St Gregory’s as one school, a liturgy was held in St Raphael’s Church.  The purpose of this liturgy was to celebrate the amalgamation of the three separate Queanbeyan Catholic Schools into one school - St Gregory’s Primary School.  During this liturgy the colours of the new school were introduced.  These included the principal colours of the original three schools: red/navy (Sacred Heart); navy/gold (St Gregory’s) and navy/sky (Marist Brothers).  So our colours became navy, sky blue, gold and red.

 

Crest

Having taken the initial step of establishing the school colours, the School Board created the St Gregory’s Crest. Elements of the history of the formerly separate schools were taken into account.

 

'Seek Truth, Be Faithful' - a combination of the former motto of
St Gregory’s and Marist Brothers

Houses

There are four Sport Houses, each one associated with a local pioneering family of the Queanbeyan region.

BRENNAN (Blue) - Sarah Octavia Brennan was the first boarder at St Benedict's Convent, Queanbeyan. She was the daughter of a policeman, Martin Brennan. Later, she became Sister Elizabeth in the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and the first woman Bachelor of Science and the first woman Master of Arts from Sydney University. Sarah was also the cousin of the poet, Christopher Brennan. She was accomlished at drawing, needlework and music. Sarah took part in a ceremony, which she duly recorded in her own writings, where Sisters, workmen and students laid the cornerstone of St Benedict's Convent in Isabella Street.

BYRNE (Yellow) - Martin Byrne was born in Carlow, Ireland in 1815, the son of Charles Byrne. He arrived in NSW in 1839 and went directly to Gundaroo to work on a property. In 1842 he married Sarah Nightingale and in 1847 the Byrnes went into innkeeping. In 1850, Martin Byrne built a hotel on the corner of Monaro and Crawford Streets, which is now known as the Royal Hotel. Martin Byrne was alsoa miller (Byrnes Mill, 1883), active in civic business and in 1879 assisted the Sisters of the Good Samaritan with the establishment of St Benedict's Convent, Isabella Street. He died in 1892 having had a family of fourteen children.

MORRISON (Green) - The Morrison family were pioneers of the Queanbeyan/Canberra district. In 1860 John Morrison came to NSW from County Waterford, Ireland. In general terms, the Morrison family has been associated with land-holding and agricultural pursiuits and with their influence on the Tharwa/Tuggeranong areas of the ACT. Father John Morrison (1904-1988) was a significant member of this family. He was a priest at Canberra, Grenfell, Murrumburrah, Temora, Young, Moruya, Boorowa, Gouburn and Queanbeyan. He had a great interest in football and was a hero to children who saw him as 'the man of joy, the man of fun'. Even after retiring, he was still actively preaching the Gospel.

O'ROURKE (Red) - The founding father of this well-known family was Cornelius O'Rourke who was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, in 1786. Several sons of Cornelius O'Rourke were transported from Ireland. They arrived at Duntroon in the 1850's where they joined their father. The O'Rourke name has had a long term association with Queanbeyan. The O'Rourke family is well distributed throughout the Queanbeyan/Canberra district. Mary Bowers, a daughter of Cornelius was the first Queanbeyan reident to receive the award of Member of the British Empire for her services to the Red Cross and to nursing.