SISTERS OF MERCY
St Joseph's School, Barcaldine was established in 1896 at the instigation of Fr Denis Ryan and the parishioners, many of whom had moved westward as the railway line was built. These Irish Catholics were concerned by the lack of religious education in the area and invited the Sisters of Mercy of the Rockhampton Congregation to open a School.
A combined convent and school was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, and housed the Sisters upstairs with classrooms on the ground floor. Sister M Muredach McMullen, Principal, assisted by Sisters Catherine Cleary and Mary Fayne, and a lay teacher, Catherine Lobie, welcomed one hundred students on the first day.
The classrooms soon proved inadequate and a school was opened adjacent to the convent in 1906 where 195 students were enrolled.
The Sisters offered boarding accommodation in the Convent for children of country families. In 1943, on the 50th anniversary of its opening, a new wing was added to the Convent, thus upgrading boarding facilities.
On October 21, 1962 the present school building was blessed and opened by Monsignor D G Tiernan D.D. The Sisters of Mercy continued to serve in the school assisted by lay teachers. In 1988 the first lay Principal, Dan Hatchman was appointed. St Joseph's, Barcaldine celebrated its centenary in 1996, and is justifiably proud of its many past teachers and students.