Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Image from the website of St Joseph's Primary School, Eden


A school founded by St Mary MacKillop almost 120 years ago in Eden, on the NSW south coast, will close at the end of this year, reports the Canberra Times.

Parents' spokesman Pat Neville said parents believed the proposal to close the Eden school was based on the sale of its pristine land to finance the building of a school at Pambula.The Catholic Education Commission of Canberra and Goulburn blames the closure on demographic changes in the parish of St Peter's, covering Eden, Merimbula and Pambula, leading to falling enrolments. But parents blamed the school culture, not changed demographics for the decline.

According to the newspaper, Mr Neville said last week the office had failed to deal with persistent complaints of poor discipline and bullying at the school.

Eden's link with Mary MacKillop probably began in 1886 when her mother, Flora, died after the passenger steamer, Ly-ee-moon, was wrecked after striking a reef at Green Cape. Only 15 people survived and 71 died.

Mrs MacKillop had been travelling to Sydney to help at a church fete organised by her daughter, Mary, who was made Australia's first saint last year. After her mother's death, she visited Eden and opened St Joseph's Primary School.


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