It was back in September 1964 that the St Gerard Majella Catholic School at Carlingford was opened by Father Nolan and by 1969 there were three Sisters of Mercy on the staff and 130 applications for Kindergarten alone.

Over the years volunteer parents and parishioners provided labour for building projects, working together to build a community and a school. This strong spirit of service still endures today with parents helping the teaching staff organise celebrations for the school’s 50th anniversary this year.

Students, teachers and parishioners, all with ties to the school, were invited to craft their own tile which was in turn applied as part of a complete artwork on a prominent wall within the school grounds – a wonderful memento in recognition of a proud history of education.

A special celebratory mass was held recently in conjunction with the school opening its classrooms to display students’ work including iMovies they had produced.   An estimated 800 visitors enjoyed the hospitality on offer; a BBQ, cakes and refreshments. Visitors included members of the school and parish, ten past staff members, five past principals, several Sisters of Mercy and representatives from the Catholic Schools Office and Broken Bay Diocese.

The event also included an unveiling of a timber plinth kindly donated by the 2014 Year 6 families and the P&F Association in celebration of the 50 years.

In closing, a parent remarked “St Gerard’s was at its best, showing a beautiful, modern school, outstanding teachers who are just as much a part of our community as the parents and who provide guidance to the children and parents.  All staff come from a place of love and celebration for our school.  I felt very proud to be part of this school community and it will be a day that my family remembers”.