Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School is a single stream co-educational Primary School with a current enrolment of approximately 210 children from Kindergarten to Year 6. It is located at 29 Marda Way, Nollamara.
The school, together with the Parish of O.L.O.L. was established in 1958 with Fr. Rupert Kelly as Parish Priest. The school and parish were named Our Lady of Lourdes in order to commemorate the 100th year of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette at Lourdes. Fr Kelly remained the Parish Priest until 1992. Fr Brian O’Loughlin looked after the parish until Fr Joe Walsh was appointed Parish Priest on 1 May 1993. Following Fr. Walsh, Fr. Laurence Murphy was appointed on 17 April 2001. He served nearly twelve years as the parish priest and celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Ordination in April 2012 before retiring from parish responsibilities in early 2013. In recognition the school library was renamed the Father Laurence Murphy School Library. Our current Parish Priest, Fr Stanislaw Bendkowski SDS, commenced in February 2013.
In early February of 1958, work was commenced on building the school. The school comprised of three large classrooms, an office, kitchen and a toilet block. The buildings were solemnly blessed and opened by Archbishop Prendiville on 7 September 1958. The front room of the school was furnished with a temporary chapel.
The foundation teachers were three Sisters of Mercy who travelled each day from St Brigid’s Convent West Perth. They were Sister Mary Angela, Sister Mary Alphonsus and Sister Mary Stephen. In the first year of the school opening, there were 125 children enrolled, of which 62 were in the infant classes. At a later date, three more classes were added. In 1962, another classroom was built as well as a shed. In 1963, parish tennis courts were built and in 1964, another toilet block of which the school had full access.
In 1964, a convent was commenced to accommodate the Sisters of Mercy. It was opened and blessed on 30 August 1964 by the Most Reverent M McKeon D.D. Auxiliary Bishop to His Grace, Archbishop Prendiville. Various nuns have lived in the convent, including Sister John who celebrated 50 years as a nun in 1987, Sister Ambrose who celebrated her golden jubilee in 1988, Sister Scholastica and Sister Helena in 1989.
On 28 September 1974, His Grace, Archbishop Goody solemnly blessed and opened the parish hall, two meeting rooms, store room and music room. The hall has always been made available for school use. In 1979, the rooms under the hall were converted to house the Pre Primary with only one of the ‘council’ rooms set aside for parish use. All the rooms have been converted for school use over the years.
Since its foundation and up to 1996, the following Sisters of Mercy have been Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes School:
Mr Peter Panizza was the first lay principal appointed in 1997. Mrs Lyla Forte is the most recent former principal who retired at the end of 2011. The current Principal is Mr Dan Wood and Fr Stan Bendowski is our Parish Priest. Fr Stan is very much involved in the life of the school.
The year of 2008 was a very exciting and memorable year for our school community. It was our 50th anniversary. It was a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution made by the Sisters of Mercy, past and present staff and past and present parents and children. The events of the year were highlighted with the completion of the school mural, depicting the journey of our school since 1958. May we continue to be blessed with a community who works together to enrich the lives of our children in Faith, Education and Pastoral Care.