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School History

School History

St Colman's Catholic School, Home Hill has a rich, vibrant history.


A building is brought from Ravenswood to Home Hill by Fr Patrick O’Keefe and converted into the first St Colman’s Church. The new church is blessed and opened by Bishop Joseph Shiel in July, and is probably named after St Colman of Lindisfarne, and important figure in the development of Irish Catholicism.


St Colman’s Parish is established. The first parish priest is Fr William O’Reagan, who soon after applies to St Patrick’s Convent in Townsville to have a group of sisters open a convent school in Home Hill. At that time Home Hill possessed a small wooden church but no presbytery or school.


The Sisters of Mercy arrive to open a school in Home Hill, which opens on 7 February. Without a dedicated school building, classes are taught in the church and in the convent. After being delayed by floods and bad weather, Bishop Joseph Shiel visits to bless and officially open the convent school 3 April.


A formal school building is completed in the 1930s, and it is later improved by the addition of verandahs and partitions to separate classrooms. The new school building is painted this year.


During the Second World War, Years 1 and 2 attend school until lunchtime, when Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 come to school. This is to prevent the school’s air-raid shelters becoming overcrowded in the event of an emergency.


Two new classrooms are added to St Colman’s School.


On 7 December, Monsignor Ormond Rush blesses and officially opens a new library and major renovations at St Colman’s School.


Jim O’Brien is welcomed as the first lay principal at St Colman’s School. The full-time staff comprises three lay teachers and three sisters. The school holds its first Walkathon from Groper Creek to raise funds for the school. This event is later replaced by an annual Lapathon held at the Home Hill High School. In April the community celebrates the golden jubilee of St Colman’s School.


On 4 September Bishop Leonard Faulkner blesses and officially opens a new building containing offices for the principal and school secretary, along with a staff room, a multi-purpose room, new toilets and a large sheltered play area.


The last remaining Sister of Mercy who is still teaching at St Colman’s School retires at the end of the year, but the sisters remain a part of the school community.


Four classrooms are upgraded at St Colman’s School, and work begins on opening a preschool.


In January a preschool opens at St Colman’s School. The area under the original office, which had previously served as a covered play and assembly area, is closed in to create a classroom for Preschool and Year 1 classes. On 26 May, Bishop Raymond Benjamin officially opens and blesses several new buildings around St Colman’s School. These include the parish centre, the preschool building, the refurbished library, six new classrooms and a new veranda.


On 6 March, the Sisters of Mercy are given an official farewell after they decide to withdraw from St Colman’s Parish, where they had served for 65 years. The convent building is removed from the school grounds in May 1995.


Michael Colahan is welcomed as principal of St Colman’s School.


The St Colman’s School Parents and Friends Association arrange to have air conditioners installed in several classrooms at the school.


On 6 April St Colman’s School celebrates its 75-year anniversary. As part of the celebrations, the school officially opens multiple new developments, including a new administration area, a new senior school with amenities, and new toilets in the preschool. The school was also painted to compliment the new facilities, with murals painted on the preschool and tuckshop walls.


Patrick Dempsey is welcomed as principal of St Colman’s School.


On 28 July, Bishop Michael Putney blesses and officially opens “the Shed,” a building containing a new tuckshop, storerooms, toilets and a large play area.


On 27 July, students at St Colman’s School celebrate National Tree Day by planting bottle brush and cedar bay cherry trees in the native gardens behind the tuckshop. Year 4 and 5 students have eight weeks of specialist basketball coaching by the coach of the Townsville Crocodiles, Matt Johnston. Children in Years 4 to 7 also have four weeks of touch football coaching by Jason Martin, a former North Sydney Bears and North Queensland Cowboys.


Students at St Colman’s School welcome Professor Stephen Ramsden, visiting from the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project in Atlanta, Georgia. During his visit students receive an opportunity to use observatory quality solar telescopes with features including solar flares and sun spots.


Carla Johnson is welcomed as principal of St Colman’s School.


During the school holidays, two new classrooms are completed at St Colman’s. The old tuckshop is also removed and new toilets installed.


Michael Colahan is welcomed back as acting principal while Principal Carla Johnson is on leave.


Karen Keys is welcomed as Principal of St Colman's School.