Celebrations underway to mark centenary of Catholic education

CELEBRATIONS have already begun to mark a centenary of Catholic education in Port Macquarie. 

In 2013 the St Agnes Parish is celebrating 100 years of faith-based education and making meaningful contributions to the community.

A number of events are planned throughout the year.

A centenary book will be published this month to commemorate the occasion.

The book will feature all of the schools throughout the parish, including St Joseph’s Family Services.

The publication has been painstakingly researched and assembled, and will provide a comprehensive history of Catholic education in St Agnes’ Parish, complete with photos and stories. 

A mid-winter occasion unlike any other will be held in June.

The Centenary Ball will be at Port Macquarie Panthers on June 15.

Guests will be regaled with tales from across the years by a number of speakers.

Pieces of memorabilia will also be on display throughout the three course meal, and the subsequent dance is certain to involve revellers of all ages. The most immediate event will be this Friday’s Back to Old School Bash at Newman Senior Technical College.

Ex students and employers will be given a unique opportunity to have a look behind the scenes at the school.

Newman’s principal, Stephen Pares, expressed his excitement about the day’s events.

“The Back to Old School Bash will give the community a chance to reminisce,” Mr Pares said.

“At the same time they can admire the growth that has taken place at the college throughout its 34 years.”

Lunch begins at 12pm, with tours commencing from 12.45pm.

Peter Hayes was school captain during his time at Newman, and is now the college’s furniture making teacher.

“I know many locals will be surprised and impressed to see how Newman College has grown and adapted since the vocational college days,” Mr Hayes said.

“Newman has listened to local industry and expanded its curriculum to meet community needs.

“A great example of that was when we added Automotive to our curriculum.

“We were also the first in the state to offer Health Services (Aged Care).”

Mandy Meehan is a foundation student of the college and has noticed significant change and expansion over the years.

“Times have changed since 1979,” Mrs Meehan said.

“Back then it was known as Vocational College, or VC, and there was no uniform for the students.”

“What hasn’t changed is the practical based subjects, along with Newman’s strong reputation for gaining employment for students.”

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