A Brief History of Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School
By the early 1980s the idea of a Catholic Primary School in Hervey Bay was very much in the minds of many Catholics living in the developing City of Hervey Bay. In 1982 local businessman, Bob Goodwin approached Sister Scholastica to discuss establishing a Catholic Primary School. Bob received an extremely enthusiastic response. Without delay, Hervey Bay Aldermen Malcolm Bellero and Jack Hammond, parishioners at the time commenced negotiations with land developer Errol Banks. After obtaining the land, the Parish Priest Fr Leo Coote, gave approval for a committee to investigate the required procedures . Several meetings with The Catholic Education Office in Brisbane were held to obtain the necessary support and approvals. The Sisters of Mercy were busy collating specific needs for the school.
On 1st April 1984, Stage 1 of Star of the Sea was blessed and opened by Archbishop Rush. The school was staffed by a teaching Principal and working staff of 7 teachers/assistants. Day one enrolments were 65 students. Enrolments increased and Stage 2 of our Building Program was completed and opened in 1986. Stage 3 was opened in 1990. July 1993 saw the 10th Anniversary celebrations with a time capsule buried which was opened at our 25 Year Jubilee in 2008. In 1993 Stage 4 was completed. By 1996 enrolments had reached 375 and the final Building Stages were completed. A $30,000 covered Adventure Playground had been constructed in 1999, with our Pre School commencing for the year 2000. Students were receiving L.O.T.E., Music, Physical Education and Library lessons from specialist teachers. Instrumental Music Programs were also being offered to students.
Star of the Sea had become a 'Two Stream' school in 2000. By 2006 our enrolments reached 530 students. Preparatory Year commenced in Qld schools in 2007 and Star of the Sea officially opened our second Prep Building in June of that year. Our full time and part time Staff numbers were over fifty, running eighteen classes including our two preps.
2008 saw us in our twenty-fifth year of providing Catholic Education in Hervey Bay. Our enrolments remained above 500 with several Year Levels being 'three stream'. In July 2008, through the initiative of the Hervey Bay Future Schools Committee, Centacare opened Star of the Sea Catholic Child Care Centre on parish land on the same site as our school. This Centre, along with our new Sacred Place; Mary’s Sacred Garden, was officially blessed during our twenty-five year celebrations in August 2008. The Sister Scholly Library and Resource Centre was opened and blessed by Bishop Brian Finnigin in August 2009.
With financial assistance from the Queensland State Government and funds from the Building the Education Revolution Project, a Multi-Purpose Hall and Music Room were constructed and opened in June 2011.
Parishioners Roy and Peg McKewin, bequeathed the School a generous donation which was to be used towards construction of a School Chapel. Bishop Brian Finnigin officially blessed and opened the Chapel in August 2013.
Star of the Sea has come a long way in a short amount of time. Those involved in our school are proud of our history and the ethos that has been established. We look forward to continuing to provide quality Catholic Education in an enjoyable Christian environment.