Change is always hard. Saying goodbye, ending a chapter in the story and opening up a new one can be difficult for anyone. Few of us could imagine what it would be like to end a chapter that is 182 years old.
That is exactly what the staff and students at All Saints Catholic Primary School at Liverpool did last Friday as they bid a teary farewell to their primary school. The beloved K-6 will join the other All Saints schools in Liverpool to proudly become the first K-12 school in the Sydney Archdiocese.
From 2020, All Saints Catholic College will integrate a child’s entire schooling, from K-12. The college will comprise dual campuses, K-10 in Liverpool and 11-12 at Casula, offering a single K-12 enrolment process, a move that has all involved beaming with pride.
To finish this part of the story and to celebrate the new beginning, Fr Paul Monkerud, All Saints Liverpool parish priest, celebrated a special Mass on Friday 13 December.
The celebration brought together staff and students past and present who reminisced over the many wonderful memories of the primary school.
Christine Scanlon, who will be the last ever principal of the primary school, gave an emotional speech after the Mass in which she thanked everyone who contributed to the rich tapestry of the education community.
“Now, after all this time, our mystery will be found in a new chapter, an exciting chapter,” she said.
“[A chapter] that will be written with great passion and energy, based on faith, commitment, and high expectations, as inspired by Christ we move forward.”
School captain Coreena Marhyz Nicdao, along with Vice-captains Wydicon Salu and Sienna Santa, were given the task of extinguishing the All Saints Catholic Primary School candle for the final time, signifying the end of the primary school.
Daniel McInerney, taking over as Principal of the K-12 College then ignited a new candle to mark the beginning, the new chapter and a new, united community.
He will oversee more than 2200 students and over 240 staff in the new college, a responsibility he looks forward to.
“This is a new chapter and a very exciting time for all of us, a new adventure awaits. We’re one school, dual campuses, one community”.
Fr Paul, who has been parish priest since May 2016, has been a significant contributor to the process since his arrival, importantly included on all committees throughout development.
“There has been rapid development in the Liverpool area, and an increasingly diverse population. We’re strategically placed to make a real difference, this K-12 is a big part of that.”
The celebration brought together staff and students past and present including the school’s oldest living graduate, 91-year-old Molly Taylor, a member of the class of 1939. Also in attendance was ex-student Br Stephen Sweetman and ex-principal Sr Genevieve Walsh.
Sr Walsh, principal from 1991 to 2005, was emotional as she looked for words to adequately describe her beloved school.
“This is an historical, memorable, inspirational moment that fills my heart with love for this place,” she said.
“This school has a very strong ex-student support and wouldn’t be where it is today without the ex-students, the Catholic Club, the teachers past and present and the Parish Priest and clergy.”
Though change is never easy, and leaving the comfort of the known behind can be difficult, All Saints Liverpool is filled with excitement as they walk boldly into the future with unity in their diversity, one school, dual campuses, one community.