San Clemente High School’s reclaiming its stories in centenary year

While the community of San Clemente High School, Mayfield, is celebrating the school’s centenary in a variety of ways, the one that may well have the longest impact is the ‘story collecting’ project.

Under the auspices of the Year 9 Religious Studies curriculum unit, “Building Community”, students are utilising different approaches to reclaiming their school’s rich history and all the changes it involves.

On 21 February, some 25 former students of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s gathered at the school for lunch, prepared and served by very hospitable students. A number of Dominican Sisters, members of the founding congregation, were warmly welcomed.

The guests then divided into groups to visit classrooms and assist students with their assigned research.

One ‘old girl’, Katherine Sneddon (née Kay Baker) was a student of the early 1950s. Katherine lives in Canberra but every few months she takes the train to Newcastle to meet a group of school friends for lunch. She stays at the home of one friend and “we have a pyjama party, talking until 2am! We grew up together and we still have a need for each other.”

Religious Studies Co-ordinator, Rose McAllister, herself an ex-student, told the visitors, “There are so many stories we don’t know and we want to know!”

Principal Scott Donohoe welcomed the former students – all belonging to the era of a girls only school – and was keen to hear about the changes they observed during their visit.

Watch this space for news of centenary events and ways in which you can be involved. 

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Tracey Edstein Image
Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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