Personal tools
You are here: Home Our School History and Tradition

History and Tradition

In 1923, five sisters from the religious order, the Daughters of our Lady of the Sacred Heart arrived in the important seaport town of Wynyard to establish the Wynyard community and to teach at the new school, St Brigid’s.

They were met at the Wynyard Railway Station by the Parish Priest Father Patrick Fanning MSC.  The sisters were Sisters Joan of Arc McQuillen, Dominica O’Sullivan, Kieran Doyle, Ignatius O’Connor and St John Barth.

An historical day for Wynyard was the laying of the foundation stone of the convent and the school, dedicated to St Brigid, on the site of the old Catholic Church, by Archbishop Barry, on 16th October 1922. Rain steadily poured down as Father Patrick Fanning, MSC disclosed that the building program would cost £1891.  The provincial of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Father Ryan, was pleased to hear that £580 was already in hand as he was at the ceremony.

On their arrival in Wynyard, the five Sisters of the Daughters of our Lady of the Sacred Heart found that classes were scheduled to commence in four days time in the newly erected school that was designed by Father Fanning MSC, the Parish Priest at this time.  The foundation stone had been laid in October 1922. The school had fifty-four students that first year including three boarders.

The Wynyard House Diary of the Sisters, tells the story of the transfer on February 1, 1923, of the Longford community to Wynyard.  The new Wynyard community consisted of Sisters Joan of Arc McQuillen, Dominica O’Sullivan, Kieran Doyle, Ignatius O’Connor and St John Barth.

The details of the transfer are recorded by the community scribe: the last Mass at Longford convent, the packing and the disapproval of the railway authorities at the excessiveness of the excess luggage the sisters had!  The very slow and tiresome trip on the train is also recorded and the excess luggage being changed to another train at Burnie.  When finally the sisters arrived in Wynyard, Father Fanning, MSC warmly welcomed them and took care of the excess luggage.

The convent was not yet completed, but Father Patrick Fanning, graciously and generously, gave the presbytery over to the sisters temporarily and went to stay with a parishioner.  Although the day had been very trying, the Sisters in the new community confided themselves and their new work, to the Heart of our Lord, to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Saint Joseph.

Classes were due to commence four days later in the fine new school building that had been designed by Father Patrick Fanning himself and built in 1922. 

By the 17th February 1923, the Sisters vacated the presbytery and Father Fanning once again, returned home.

March 2nd 1923, the first Friday of the month, the new Wynyard community officially consecrated itself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, constituting Him the head of their little religious family.  This consecration of their religious family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was recorded in a special register and signed personally by Father Fanning and the five sisters in the community. It was renewed on important feasts at least twice a year for ten years, signed personally by the individual members of the community.

To view the entire document with photos, please click on the link 

Document Actions
« February 2019 »