When Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary School in Waterloo opened its doors in November 1858 it was only Sydney’s third Catholic school.
Today it is an “amazing” place of fun and learning for the students of Waterloo and Redfern who celebrated its 160 anniversary this month, said Principal Kelly Bouris.
The anniversary celebrations on 9 November began with Mass celebrated by Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish priest Fr Paul Smithers, where the students and staff were joined by civic leaders, ex-students and previous principals.
It was followed by a sumptuous morning tea for all the guests who were entertained by a musical performance by the students, followed by a birthday party for the whole school.
“We have an amazing community here and the day was really special,” said Mrs Bouris.
Father Smithers told the students it was “amazing that given all the changes that have taken place in Sydney and particularly in our area that Our Lady of Mount Carmel is still here and has operated continuously for 160 years”.
“You can’t say that about many places,” he said.
Fr Smithers paid tribute to the role that the Patrician Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor had played in establishing, educating and guiding students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Present for celebrations were local MPs Tanya Plibersek and Ron Hoenig, Sydney Catholic Schools eastern regional director Elizabeth O’Carrigan, representatives of the Patrician Brothers including the provincial Brother Paul O’Keefe, Mercy Sisters Margaret, Gabriel and Carmel, Our Lady’s Nurses of the Poor Sister Margaret- Mary Birgan, past and current principals from our neighbouring schools, and ex-students.