Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Looking Back on Half a Century; Mercy College Celebrates Its Golden Jubilee This Year

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Looking Back on Half a Century; Mercy College Celebrates Its Golden Jubilee This Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Tara Cassidy Tara.Cassidy@dailymercury.com.au

MERCY College celebrates its golden jubilee this year, having first opened up the school's doors in January 1968.

Much has changed in its 50 years of existence, from its original name, look and even the type of students that could enrol.

Former foundation student Maryanne Condie, who attended from 1968, said the changes to both Mercy College and schooling system as a whole were dramatic, with current ways of teaching almost futuristic to when she attended in the sixties.

"First of all, 50 years ago it was actually called Our Lady of Mercy College and it was an all girls school, not a boy in sight," she said.

"It was run by the Sisters of Mercy who wore their full regalia, we never had male teachers and half of the ones we had were nuns.

"There would have been about 400 students in total that first year, and about 50 to 60% of those girls would leave after year 10 and not go on to their senior levels times have really changed."

Ms Condie said the expectation for women in those days was to attend school to Year 8 and 9, achieve an admin job and then go on to find a husband and have children before 30 - hugely different to a student's way of life in the 21st century.

"Those were just the times, everyone was very Catholic and conservative," she said.

"You wouldn't have known what such things as an iPad were or would ever be, there wasn't even a computer in sight, we had a room full of manual type writers.

"We would never have imagined schooling and teaching would change so much, but I think it's great that it's so advanced now."

Current teacher Tania Attard said such changes and advancements have provided students with greater opportunities both in and out of school, in addition to making teachers lives run smoother and with greater ease. …

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