Friday, August 7, 2009

All Hallows'

Not being Catholic, and not being female, I don't have any personal connection to All Hallows', one of the best known schools in Brisbane. But I have always been interested in it, and not only because of my fascination with the type of person who would attend such a school (that is to say, girls!). In the typical fashion of Brisbane's Catholic forebears, who always had the nous to combine education with prime property, the school is marvellously situated in one of Brisbane's most prestigious positions - on the riverfront, close to the Story Bridge. And it has been there for a good while too - Bishop Quinn purchased the site and the house on it in December 1863. Below is a photograph of the school entry that was taken in 1914 - note the horse-drawn carriages on Ann St, now one of Brisbane's busiest motor carriageways.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #196399)

All Hallows' School is run by the Sisters of Mercy to offer young women a quality Catholic education, says their web site. In 1861, (Arch)Bishop Quinn arrived in Brisbane to take charge of the Catholic community. With him were five Sisters of Mercy led by Mother Superior Mary Vincent Witty, who from all reports was a forceful and energetic personality with more than a tad of foresight. The Sisters commenced their teaching activity at St Stephen's in Elizabeth St until the property "Adderton", previously owned by a Dr Fullerton, was purchased for them by Quinn in 1863. It was promptly renamed All Hallows' (after All Hallows' College in her home town of Dublin) by Mother Mary Vincent. Below is a photo of the school from 1889 that shows the Stombuco designed main building, and below that, a current photo showing the original building on the left of a raft of improvements (click for a larger image).

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #APO-010-0001-0015)

(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

There is a lot more information about the school on its own web pages, and also at this State government EPA site. I also photographed the old entrance gate from across Ann St in the manner of the top photo in this post, and this is how it looked.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

It's fairly obvious, even to a casual observer like me, that the school has done exceptionally well since its foundation. It has an excellent reputation as an educational facility, and it has been producing quality people into all walks of life over many years.

Click here for a Google Map.


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