Our History

History of St Michael's Primary School, Lane Cove

'Love and Loyalty'

St Michael's Catholic Primary School began in 1922, the year of the establishment of the parish (then called Longueville). The parish priest, Fr Hugh McGuire, arranged for the Sisters of Mercy (North Sydney Congregation) to run the school. They had to commute to Lane Cove, perhaps from their house in Pymble, until they established a convent in Lane Cove in 1928.

Details of the early years are scant. It seems that the first school was a church-school in Dorritt Street, on the site of the present St Michael's Church. The first principal was Sr Evangelist rsm. Numbers in the first year are unknown, but by 1925 there were 140 infants and primary students. The school grew to about 200 in 1940 and catered for lower primary boys and for girls from Kindergarten to Year 6. In the 1950s the girls' education was continued with the provision of Home Science teaching up to Intermediate (Third Year).This meant an increase in enrolment to over 300 pupils.

The Wyndham reforms in New South Wales schools in the 1960s caused Archdiocesan authorities to rationalise Catholic schooling. St Michael's agreed to end secondary classes in about 1963 and concentrate on providing primary education for boys in lower primary and for girls to Year 6. This change also meant that the Sisters of Mercy had agreed that St Michael's should be a systemic school under the supervision of the CEO, Sydney. Enrolments remained high, and a new wing was added in 1961.

Steady growth continued after 1970, one reason being that from the mid 1980s boys remained at the school until the end of Year 6, in accordance with the Archdiocesan preference that primary schooling be parish-based. To cater for the growth there was substantial refurbishment and additions to the buildings between 1970 and 1990.

The Sisters of Mercy had staffed St Michael's from 1922. In recent decades they employed more and more lay teachers, and in 1985 ended their leadership of the school. The first lay principal was Mrs Caroline Leuenberger.

In 2011, through Federal Government funding, a large multi-purpose centre was built and named in honour of Monsignor Hugh McGuire. A lead light window from the original St Michael's church is featured prominently in this building.

In 2013 St Michael's has an enrolment of approximately 550 students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

Source: Fergus Cloran, A History of St Michael's Lane Cove (Parish History)

Principals

  • 1922: Sr Evangelista rsm
  • 1923-76: names unknown
  • 1976-78: Sr Patricia Wilkinson rsm
  • 1979-81: Sr Patricia Barton
  • 1982-85: Sr Marie Hope
  • 1986-87: Mrs Caroline Leuenberger
  • 1988: Mrs Mavis King
  • 1989-95: Miss Janice Haydon
  • 1996-2003: Ms Judith Butler
  • 2004 -2006: Ms Trish Brown
  • Current: Mr Steve Conlon