Final Building Works Completed at St Andrew’s School, Cairns
The Sisters of Mercy were recently invited to attend the Blessing of All Saints’ Theatre and Rovena Duffy RSM had the privilege of representing the Sisters at this event.
The Theatre is the final chapter of the building works which had been planned for St Andrew’s School in 2001. The founding Principal Mrs. Lauretta Graham had an extraordinary vision for the school, which commenced its first year with classes from Pre School to Year 4 and then gradually incorporated all grades from Early Childhood through to Year 12 in the years following. Lauretta had a deep desire to build the Chapel and the Theatre and although was not present for the opening of the Theatre can be very proud of her vision and planning.
When the school commenced, two of our Sisters Faye Kelly RSM and Margaret Rush RSM were part of this vision and supported Lauretta particularly in the establishment of the school and the School Board. They attended many meetings and the school began on a firm foundation. Lauretta having deep faith and a desire to ensure that the school staff, students and parents were able to express their faith added the Chapel to the plan for the future and welcomed the people of the local Redlynch area, by including the Sunday Liturgy each week to be celebrated at the school.
The Opening and Blessing of All Saint’s Theatre commenced with the Tjapukai people of the Local area performing a Smoking Ceremony- conducted prior to all present entering the theatre. Mr Lee MacMaster, the College Principal welcomed all present after all participants were assembled inside the Theatre. Following the welcome the Concert Band led by Mr Brian Hurdley and Ms Maureen Cameran, played the National Anthem.
Mrs Amanda Stephen, College Indigenous Liaison Officer made an acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners.
The Liturgy of Blessing started with the Gathering Hymn Come and Follow Me (Tom Franzak 1997 GIA Publications, INC.) performed by the Concert Band and Choir.
After a Liturgy of the Word, Bishop James Foley blessed the cross and the Theatre. Following the Solemn Blessing and the Sending Forth Hymn the Official Ceremony began, which consisted of a Speech by the Executive Director, Catholic Services, Cairns and Bishop James Foley.
A plaque was unveiled and the Principal’s Address followed.
A video presentation of the stages of construction, commentary by Mr Mark Jennings – Theatre Manager, music and dance items from students, the playing of the Concert Bells a vote of thanks and invitation to refreshments in the Theatre Foyer completed the evening.
This project is indeed a wonderful achievement and all those who have been involved in seeing this through over the years are to be congratulated. St Andrew’s College is an Educational centre of Learning of which all in the Cairns Diocese can be proud.
Messages to: Rovena Duffy RSM