The Michaelian - published weekly during School term

Our History

Class of c.1929

The original St Michael's Church, built in 1919, was built as a church-school, but it wasn't until the actual parish of St Michael's Longueville was formed in 1922 that the Sisters of Mercy began teaching in the Church-school of St Michael's. The parish priest, Fr Hugh McGuire, arranged for the Sisters of Mercy (North Sydney Congregation) to run the school. They had to commute to Lane Cove, perhaps from their house in Pymble, until they established a convent in Lane Cove in 1928.

The first Holy Communion on 15th August, 1923
The first Holy Communion on 15th August, 1923 Details of the early years are scarce. It seems that the first school was a church-school in Dorritt Street, on the site of the present St Michaelís Church. The first principal was Sr Evangelist rsm. Numbers in the first year are unknown, but by 1925 there were 140 infants and primary students.

The school grew to about 200 in 1940 and catered for lower primary boys and for girls from Kindergarten to Year 6. In the 1950s the girlsí education was continued with the provision of Home Science teaching up to Intermediate (Third Year). This meant an increase in enrolment to over 300 pupils.

St Michael's School, 1953
The Wyndham reforms in New South Wales schools in the 1960s caused Archdiocesan authorities to rationalise Catholic schooling. St Michaelís agreed to end secondary classes in about 1963 and concentrate on providing primary education for boys in lower primary and for girls to Year 6. This change also meant that the Sisters of Mercy had agreed that St Michaelís should be a systemic school under the supervision of the CEO, Sydney.

Enrolments remained high, and a new wing was added in 1961.

Steady growth continued after 1970, one reason being that from the mid 1980s boys remained at the school until the end of Year 6,in accordance with the Archdiocesan preference that primary schooling be parish-based.

To cater for the growth there was substantial refurbishment and additions to the buildings between 1970 and 1990. The Sisters of Mercy had staffed St Michaelís from 1922. In recent decades they employed more and more lay teachers, and in 1985 ended their leadership of the school. The first lay principal was Mrs Caroline Leuenberger. The current (2005) enrolment at St Michael's is 552 students.

The Work of Daphne Mayo, Sculpture

This Bas Relief of Christ with little children graces the facade of St Michael's School.

Bill and Don Gibbons, the architects for the building of the school in 1953, managed to secure the services of this distinguished sculpture through the good offices of well-known artist, Dr Lloyd Rees.

The Gibbons brothers were also former pupils of St Michael's and Bill served as a model for the head of Christ and one of his sons for the children.

Sources: Fergus Cloran, A History of St Michael ís Lane Cove (parish history)


181 - 187 Longueville Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066 | Phone 02 9427 3508 | Fax 9418 7041
© St Michaels Primary School 2006