Our History

The history of St Michael's school and parish can be looked at under three headings:

  • The Pastors;
  • The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta;
  • The Building Projects.

The first pastor was Father Gell, who was parish priest of St Charles parish in Ryde. He built the first church in Meadowbank, which was opened in July 1921. St Michael's was originally a station church for Ryde parish, and Father Gell would come once per week to celebrate Mass. In 1928, parish boundaries were changed and St Michael's transferred into the parish of Rydalmere, which was under the care of Father Dempsey, who administered the area for the next twenty years.

1948 saw the arrival of Father William Keith Bush. Meadowbank was officially a parochial district at that time, but was later designated as a parish with Father Bush continuing as parish priest for the next forty years.

In 1963, Father John Alt arrived as assistant priest. He later returned in 1980, to take over the administration of the parish, and on the 16th September 1988, was installed as the parish priest. Father Bush, after a period of declining health, died on 28th November, 1995.

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta arrived in Meadowbank with the opening of the school in 1922. Two sisters held classes in the church and in a building called ―The Gables. They had to pack up the school every Friday, and in the event of funerals, to accommodate the parish celebrations.

In 1934, Sister Mary Laurentia became principal of the school, and she was followed by Sister Mary Virgilius in 1941, and Sister Mary Ephrem (later to be known as Sister Cecilia O'Connor), in 1943. The sisters lived at Epping, travelling to school each day by train.

In 1950, the sisters moved into a house they had bought from Father Bush, with Sister Mary Gertrude in charge of the convent, and Sister Mary Boniface as the new school principal. The next two principals, Sister Mary Virgilius in 1958, and Sister Mary Ephrem in the mid sixties, both returned for their second term of office in that role. Only four more Sisters were to lead the school. These were Sister Mary Michael (Dorothy May) from 1969, Sister Anna Conway from 1975, Sister Veronica Earls from 1978, and finally Sister Cecily Gaudry from 1982.

In September 1992, the school celebrated the Sister's seventy years commitment to the parish. In 1995 the decision was made to withdraw from the administration of the school, after seventy-four years of service. From 1996 onwards the school has been led lay principals. 

The school and the church shared the same buildings until 1941 when Fr. Dempsey recognised the need for new accommodation. He erected a new school building, which was opened in March 1942. This building was commonly called ―The Showboat.

In the early fifties, the school was extended by the construction of three classrooms on the convent boundary. Volunteer labourers (often including Father Bush), assisted the builder with construction. This building is where Kindergarten currently learn. Although the old church had been extended, by 1960 the construction of a new church had become a priority. The current church was blessed and opened on 3rd August, 1963.

A rapidly growing school population led to further extensions to the school buildings ("The Showboat") in the early seventies. These resulted in the addition of a staffroom and classrooms. In the late seventies an administration block, an extra classroom behind the office, a library and two upstairs classrooms above the administration area were added. This area currently contains Years 2, 5 and 6, ESL, Special Education and a Music room. Another building project was undertaken in the early eighties, when four classrooms were built beside the convent. These classrooms are now where Years 3 and 4 are located.

In 1997, the school community decided to update the site. A major building and refurbishment program was completed by 2001. This included the construction of a new hall, meeting room and canteen facility shared with the parish. The refurbishment included an updated library, administration and classrooms (Years 2 - 6).

In 2011 another building project was completed with the support of the Federal Government's "Building the Education Revolution." This stage include a new administration block and library and the refurbishment of some classroom spaces (Kindergarten and Year 1) and the student bathrooms. In 2014 and 2015, with the support of fundraising by the Parents and Friends Association, the school playground was updated with new shade areas and an engaging and challenging playground equipment area.