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House History

In January 2003, a newly formed Vertical Pastoral Care Structure was introduced to All Hallows’ School. A House system had existed from 1965 but was used mainly for competition, particularly for sporting events. Daily life for the students revolved around Year level groups. In the Vertical Structure, a Home Room has girls from each Year level 8 – 12. Middle School students work in the traditional form of all one Grade together. These girls do, however, belong to one of the Houses and gather with the Secondary students a few times each term.

The former four Houses and five Year level groups of about thirty are replaced by eight Houses with seven Home groups of around twenty students. This article aims to link each House and its chosen colour to an explanation of the name. The eight House names include one highlighting the attribute that underpins life at All Hallows’ School, two named after dwellings significant to the Brisbane Mercy story and five commemorating people, one of these linking a person and a place.

Adderton

Adderton was a large, well-positioned house built on Duncan’s Hill overlooking the Brisbane River. It was completed in 1858 for Dr George Fullerton, his wife Julia Adderton nee Moffat and their two children. In 1863, Bishop Quinn bought the property for £6,000, and the Sisters of Mercy and their pupils moved from near St Stephen’s Cathedral to the newly-named All Hallows’ Convent and School in November that year.

Adderton still stands as the central part of the Convent building Adderton House celebrates as near as possible to 28 July with a great splash of their colour – Green.

Adderton

Coolock

 Coolock House was a twenty-two acre estate in northeast Dublin which William and Catherine Callaghan bought in 1809. Here, Catherine McAuley cared for them and, after their deaths, William left the estate to Catherine. She sold Coolock House to build the House of Mercy in the centre of Dublin. Here she began her work with and for the sick and poor, especially women and children. In 1955, the Dublin Sisters of Mercy bought back the original Coolock House, and now use it as a Convent.

Coolock House with its colour of Blue celebrates its special day on the first Friday of August.

Coolock

Gorry

Jane Gorry belonged to an Ipswich family. She was the first Queenslander to enter the Sisters of Mercy, 1863, and as Sister Mary de Sales served the people of Ipswich, Rockhampton, Dalby and Maryborough, before ill-health brought her back to Brisbane where she died rather suddenly in 1891.

Gorry House remembers Jane’s date of entry to the Sisters of Mercy, 24 May, displaying their Gold colour proudly.

Gorry

Loretto

As a Sister of Mercy, Anna Maria Flynn was known as Sister Mary Loretto. After some years as a classroom teacher, she was Sister-in-Charge of All Hallows’ from 1917 until she retired in 1959. Her special patron was Our Lady of Loreto. Tradition has the house of the Holy Family being carried to Loreto in Italy for safety.

Loretto House remembers Sister Mary Loretto’s remarkable contribution to the School. Like the people of Loreto, they celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March. Loretto House’s colour is Pink.

Loretto

McAuley

McAuley House honours Venerable Catherine McAuley, who after many years of caring for the Callaghan couple and for disadvantaged people around Coolock, founded a House of Mercy in Dublin in 1827, and, in 1831, the Sisters of Mercy. Sr Vincent Whitty, leader of the Sisters who came to Brisbane, was one of the sisters who cared for Catherine during her last illness in November 1841.

McAuley House’s celebration of 8 September remembers Catherine McAuley’s first step towards founding the Sisters of Mercy. McAuley’s colour is Silver.

McAuley

Mercedes

Mercedes is Spanish for Mercy and Grace. Mercedes House colour is Orange. Since the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, 24 September, is in the school holidays, the House celebrates towards the end of Term Three. Mercy (is) the principal path pointed out by Jesus Christ to those who are desirous of following Him. [Catherine McAuley]

As we maintain the tradition passed down from the Sisters who founded All Hallows’ School in 1861, the Mercy we are called to is an active sharing of the loving compassion of God among our family and friends, and then to people beyond our normal circle of contacts.

Mercedes

Tighe

The School register has Annie Tighe as the first pupil enrolled at All Hallows’ School. She came from Drayton on the Darling Downs in December 1861 and until her death in 1935 kept in contact with the school.

Tighe House uses one of the traditional boarders’ colours – Purple – and has its celebration day in Term Two.

Tighe

Whitty

Ellen Whitty was one of the last people trained as a Sister of Mercy by Mother Catherine McAuley. As Mother Vincent, she founded All Hallows’ Convent and School in 1861. Her prayer, "Oh my God, may You alone be the beginning and the end of all my actions" sums up her vision for us to follow.

Whitty House uses its Red colour to celebrate close to Mother Vincent’s birthday, 1 March.

Whitty

People, places and purpose help us to keep the story alive, and the rich mix of House colours from the subtle pink, blue and silver, through to the stronger green, orange, purple, red and gold are powerful reminders of the diversity yet unity of our School community and history.

Reference: Articles from the All Hallows’ School Archives; Mother Vincent Whitty’s retreat notes, Brisbane Sisters of Mercy Archives; Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy Mary C. Sullivan; ‘Coolock House’ n.d., mercyhpv , [Online], p. 1, Available:http://www.mercycoolock.ie [2008, November 5].