High Praise

Image: St. Monica’s Convent School Source: Unknown

Image: St. Monica’s Convent School
Source: Unknown

The first Catholic Church was erected at Oakey in 1909 near the football field in Belcher Street. The site was considered unsuitable, by Archbishop Duhig, and land at the corner of Campbell and Lorrimer Streets was purchased from Scott Mullen, who had been a storekeeper in Oakey prior to moving to Brisbane, for £5000.

A hall in Kingsthorpe, purchased from Mrs Laracy for £100 and a house purchased locally, from Mr. Wenham, were moved to the site and renovated into a church/school with the addition of a second storey for boarders. The convent that resulted, by 1920, was termed “a composite of life, death and gaiety, being composed of a private hospital, a Toowoomba Hotel and a dance hall from Kingsthorpe”. The two storey convent had room for 30 boarders and six Sisters.

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan school opened in 1921 with 105 pupils. At the end of 1967, the boarding section was closed due to lack of applicants. With the closing of the boarding house, the convent became too large and expensive to maintain and so was demolished and a modern one-storey brick building was erected in its place in 1977.

Convent of the Good Samaritan – Oakey – St Monica’s – 1921-1984

Superior

  • 1921-1926 S. Scholastica Cullinan
  • 1927-1930 ?
  • 1931-1933 S. Gerard Rice (thought to be superior)
  • 1940          S. Cuthbert Cullinan
  • 1941-1946 S. Linus O’Brien
  • 1947-1952 S. Teresa Mary Thompson
  • 1953-1954 S. Eugenia Stiglich
  • 1955-1960 S. Genevieve Russell
  • 1961-1963 S. Boniface Houlihan
  • 1964-1969 S. Claude Downing
  • 1970-1975 S. Imelda Murphy
  • 1976-1984 S. Eunice Osborne

Costigan, K. (1996). “Shipmates Together”: The story of St Monica’s crew Oakey 1921-1996. Toowoomba, QLD: Toowoomba Education Centre.

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