History of St Gerard's Primary School

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History

St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School occupies a significant place in the life of Catholic families living in Westminster and the surrounding suburbs.

St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, Westminster commenced in 1965, doubling as a Mass Centre on Sundays. The first Parish Priest was Father Peter Quinn and the first school Principal was Sister Brigid. Sister Brigid was a Mercy Nun who lived in Our Lady of Lourdes, hence the inclusion of the ideals of Mercy in our motto TRUTH, LOVE AND MERCY.

Father Steven Ryan was the Principal of St. Phillip’s Regional School (now known as Servite College) from 1965 – 1967. Father Mackie was Principal from 1967. It was his foresight that saw the establishment of an annex at a second campus in Balga (St. Gerard’s Primary School).

In 1967, Father Ryan (who was appointed provincial and moved to America) visited Perth and worked with Father Peter Quinn (Parish Priest at St. Gerard’s) to secure funds and write a contract to open the annex. The parish in Mirrabooka built three classrooms which would educate boys from Years 5 – 7. Father Brian Rogan was appointed as headteacher and ran the school. The annex was open for about three years, after which time the Servite Fathers returned to Tuart Hill to concentrate on building their student numbers on that campus.

The Sisters of Mercy, under Sr Bernadette, ran St Gerard’s Primary School for male and female students from Grade 1- 4, and the Servite annex educated boys from Grades 5 – 7. In 1975, the Servite Fathers withdrew and the school was amalgamated into one School, under the late, Mr. Barry O’Sullivan, the first Lay Principal.

In 1979, Mr. Brian Preston was appointed Principal. That year the Library Resource Centre was built. In 1984, the present Administration Block was built, this is named ‘The Lori Page Administration Block’ in recognition of the long years of dedicated service of the School Secretary and Administration Assistant (1974-2007). Similarly, in 1988 the Orion Fernandez Computer Centre was opened due to the foresight and financial planning of Orion Fernandez, who had been School Board Treasurer or Chairman for 12 years (1974 – 1986). The Pre-Primary opened in 1990.

In 1994/1995 the house next door to the school was purchased and transformed into an Art Centre. In 1998 Mr Sam Fontaine was appointed Principal.

In 2004, the undercover area was built, a welcome addition to the School’s buildings. The undercover area is used extensively by the students on a daily basis.

At the end of 2008, the Year Seven students moved to High School as part of a system wide move in Catholic Education in WA.

In 2009, the Australian Government made available to Schools funds to deliver new buildings as part of an economic stimulus package. The St Gerard’s School Board applied for a new Hall and a new Library. These plans were approved, building commenced in late 2009, and were officially opened on February 15, 2011 by Bishop Sproxton and Senator Chris Evans. The Hall was named, the Bishop Don Sproxton Hall and the Library, The Judy Ardagh Library, after the original buildings.

In 2012, a Capital Development Plan was approved for the construction of six new classrooms to replace the Year 1-3 and Yr 4-6 classroom blocks.These new buildings have four of the classrooms on the ground level & two classrooms on the top level. The classrooms were available for use from Term 2, 2014.

In 2020, Mr Mitchell Bristow was appointed Principal. Today the school continues to operate as a school of choice in the locality.