by LEIA MARQUES-RUIZ
From February 24-26, St Michael’s Catholic School celebrated its centenary — 100 years on Beatrice Road, Remuera (1917-2017).
The celebrations began on the Friday with a photo taken of the current students and
staff and continued with a school Mass led by Fr Tony Dunn and the Year 6 Catholic Character leaders.
There were family activities after Mass such as the 3-legged race, tug of war, other races and a refreshing swim at the pool to cool off on a very hot day.
On Saturday afternoon, at the Mary MacKillop school hall, there was the formal opening ceremony with special guests, the Sisters of Sacred Heart, Sister of Saint Joseph of Cluny, a former principal, former pupils, current students, staff and families.
There was a prayer led by Bishop Patrick Dunn, who was a pupil at St Michael’s (1955-1960).
In his speech, the bishop told us about his memories from his time in the school. All his teachers were sisters and they managed really well with a large class of students “who behaved well”.
The Harris family went to the school for generation after generation. Mr Harris and Madelaine — a current Year 1 student — were honoured to cut the ceremonial cake.
We need also need to mention Monsignor Brian Arahill, who was the parish priest at Remuera for around 30 years.
The St Michael’s Choir (Year 4, 5 and 6 students) performed two wonderful songs that delighted the audience.
Also, at the hall there was a display of photos and registers from 1917 to 2016 so people could recognise their past schoolmates. After that the official photos were taken by decade groups and a Garden Party with Champagne High Tea on the Kings Lawn begin with
current and former SMCS staff, families and students.
On Sunday, the celebrations came to an end. There was a Mass with the wider parish community led by Bishop Dunn with Fr Tony Dunn, Fr Steven Berecz, Fr Don Cowan and Fr Chris Skinner, SM, school principal Ann McKeown, teachers, Board of Trustees members
and the Alleluia Choir.
Before the end of Mass there was a special performance by Fr Chris, who wrote and
sang the St Michael’s hymn, together with the church singer Victoria Tse (a past pupil). It was a fantastic end for the centenary celebrations.
Leia Marques-Ruiz is a Year 6 student at St Michael’s Catholic School, Remuera.