Our College

Our History

In 1955, Mr Vince Crowley called a meeting to investigate the possibility of establishing a Catholic Boys school on the eastern side of Toowoomba to eliminate the need for the boys on the eastern side of town to ride their bikes, sometimes dangerously, to St Mary’s College.

With sufficient interest to make the decision to go ahead, plans were drawn up for the site bounded by Mackenzie, James and Curzon Streets. During the year Bishop Brennan, the Bishop of the Toowoomba Diocese, approached the Christian Brothers to establish a Community at St Joseph’s.

In October a Community of three Brothers was appointedand the Foundation Stone for the new College was laid on 15 December. In 1956, 116 boys were enrolled for the first day at St Joseph’s College.

The College, on its current site, was officially opened by Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane and Bishop Brennan of Toowoomba in a ceremony on 2 September 1956 catering toboys in Grades 4-12.

The Changing of the Guard

On 22 June 1982 it was announced that the Christian Brothers would be withdrawing from the College at the end of 1983. In 1982 the College catered for 314 boys from Years 4 -10. (Those wanting to continue their schooling had to go elsewhere, generally St Mary’s College, for Years 11 & 12.)

In 1982 it was decided St Joseph’s College would be extended to include Years 11 & 12, the Primary section would gradually be phased outand that the College would become co-educational.

1983 saw the first girls enrolled in Year 8. 1985 saw the last of the Primary classes.

Brothers house

History of the college

History of the college

Early in 1955, Mr Vince Crowley was concerned at the number of young lads riding bikes across the city to attend St Mary’s. Seven or eight parents attended a meeting called to investigate the possibility of establishing a Catholic Boys School on the eastern side of Toowoomba. A raffle to raise funds was organised.

History of the college

It was discovered that a block of land that had been purchased by Archbishop Quinn of Brisbane in 1879 had been left by will in 1881 “to the Archbishop of Brisbane and his successors for educational and charitable purposes”. The property was handed over by Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane to the Toowoomba Cathedral in 1955.

History of the college

It was unknown at St Patrick’s Cathedral that the Church even owned the property until a rates notice was sent there in error. The original property included the whole block of 10 acres bounded by James, Curzon and McKenzie Streets.

History of the college

In 1955, the Bishop of Toowoomba, Bishop W. M. Brennan approached the Christian Brothers to establish a Community at St Joseph’s and an agreement was drawn up with the Provincial for its formation. A Community consisting of Brother R B Murphy, Brother W. P. Morahan and Brother P. J. Hodgkinson was appointed.

History of the college

Plans were drawn in July 1955 for a new school. The site was levelled at a cost of 5000 pounds -20 000 tons of soil were shifted and a start was made on building in September.

The Foundation Stone was laid on the 15th December 1955. As the new building was not ready for occupation, Brothers Murphy, Morahan and Hodgkinson began teaching in temporary classrooms behind St Patrick’s Presbytery on the 6th February 1956. This would begin a long association with the Brothers and St Joseph’s.

History of the college

On the opening day 116 boys attended. The numbers increased to 139 within a month.

History of the college

The school was officially blessed and opened on Sunday 2nd September in the presence of Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane and Bishop Brennan of Toowoomba and a large number of Priests, Brothers and people.

History of the college

The original school block contained a Chapel and 7am Sunday Mass was celebrated for the general public from the 9th September, 1956.

History of the college

In November, 1956, a start was made on the new Brothers Residence. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Brennan at a private ceremony on the 16th January, 1957. The Brothers took up residence there on 18th November, 1957.

History of the college

Two months after the school started, the famous school song was written by Principal Brother Murphy (music) and Brother McElligott. Our song is as old as our school.

History of the college

The Consolidating Years

Within six years the school population had trebled, and St Joseph’s offered primary education from Years 4-7 and a Scholarship, Sub-Junior and Junior class to the boys of Toowoomba.

History of the college

In 1959, 225 boys were enrolled from Year 4-10. Those wishing to continue their education past junior had to attend St Mary’s – this continued for nearly 30 years.

History of the college

In 1962 Brother L. Victor Larkin joined the staff as the new Principal.

History of the college

The winds of change

In June 1982, the Christian Brothers were forced to announce their withdrawal from the College due to lack of numbers. At the same time Bishop Kelly announced that St Joseph’s would become a Catholic Co-Educational Secondary College.

History of the college

A new dimension came to St Joseph’s with Co-education. In 1983, 27 girls commenced studies in year 8 and that year as with each subsequent year a primary grade was dropped.

History of the college

The period since coeducation became one of further expansion to provide the facilities required to keep pace with the changing educational needs.

History of the college

In 1984, the first lay administrator took over from the brothers and a new era began for St Joseph’s. Brother Fogarty, Principal of St Joseph’s from 1980-1983, handed over leadership to the first Lay Principal, Mr Peter Kenny, in 1984. 1986 saw the first Year 11 class for the College.

History of the college

For the decades that have followed the College consolidated and gained a reputation in the district for providing an exciting, engaging and relevant Catholic Education.

Principals

The first five Principals of St Joseph’s were Christian Brothers.

They were

Brother Bernard Murphy 1956-1961
Brother Victor Larkin 1962-1967
Brother Donald Robertson 1968-1973
Brother Brian Saward 1974-1979
Brother Peter Fogarty 1980-1983

They were followed by the following lay Principals

Mr Peter Kenny 1984-2001
Mr Daniel McMahon 2002-2008
Mr Clem Walsh 2009-2016
Mr Nicholas Lynch 2017-2019
Smiling student
Smiling student

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