Former St Xavier’s pupils, teachers, parents and friends are invited to attend a once-in-a-lifetime reunion to be held on Saturday, March 14, at the Narrabri RSL Club.

Many former pupils are coming from afar and it is hoped that all the local ‘kids’ will come too.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together and reminisce – there’re no friends like old friends and those childhood primary school days really band us together,” said one of the organisers Sheryl Barnes.

Ellen Gleeson, a former teacher at St. Xavier’s has written the following history of the school.

St Francis Xavier’s School was founded in 1885 by three Sisters of St Joseph who were sent by the Provincial of the St Joseph Sisters, Mary MacKillop, to establish Catholic education in Narrabri.

They began their service by starting with an enrolment of 35 students.

In 1889, the Sisters of Mercy established a community in Narrabri and took over the teaching in the school which had grown to approximately 100 students.

At the time, the convent was a weatherboard structure which was also used as the school.

The Mercy Sisters maintained the primary school and a second primary school at Narrabri West to which two sisters travelled daily by train, in the earlier days.

As the number of pupils increased, a block of land opposite the convent was purchased and a new school was opened in 1897.

All primary classes were taught in the new school and the old school became a select school for senior pupils.

In 1929 the enrolment was 160 in the Primary School in town, 30 students in the High School and 80 students in Narrabri West.

A new convent for the sisters was built in 1927, which still stands next to the present school and is proudly seen by the community as a fine architectural contribution to the town.

The Sisters of Mercy remained at St Francis Xavier’s for 81 years.

In 1970 the Sisters of St Joseph returned to Narrabri and in 1975 the present school was erected.

In 2001 three extra classrooms were built and the administration and staffroom were extended.

The Sisters remained until December 2001 after which, the first lay principal was appointed to the school.

In 2011 a new library and large covered learning area were built and renovations were made to existing buildings.

St Francis Xavier’s Primary School is a co-educational Catholic Primary school (K- 6) and has continued to grow and thrive, providing quality Catholic education for over a hundred years.

It is a modern, well equipped school that continues the traditions of the past.

Traditions that were introduced through the selfless dedication and commitment of the Sisters of St Joseph and Sisters of Mercy, and carried on by the lay staff and parent bodies in the years since.

All those who have been part of the school’s history are urged to attend the reunion.

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