St Paul’s prepares to mark 40th anniversary

Alicia PereraPilbara News
St Paul’s Primary School original student Libby Harris with nephew Josh Harris, 11, and niece Mia Harris, 8, who are both current students at the school.
Camera IconSt Paul’s Primary School original student Libby Harris with nephew Josh Harris, 11, and niece Mia Harris, 8, who are both current students at the school. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Karratha’s only Catholic primary school is getting ready to celebrate 40 years of local education from this month and is inviting the wider community to join in.

St Paul’s Primary School has a busy schedule of activities planned to mark its 40th anniversary, beginning with a cocktail ball on Saturday, June 23 at the Leisureplex function room.

Other plans include a school fete later this year, the completion of capital works to upgrade the campus, and fundraising to improve the facade and spire of Karratha’s St Paul’s Church.

Principal Gina Burns said the school had retained a strong sense of community during its 40 years.

“So much has changed over the past four decades at St Paul’s, but so much remains the same,” she said.

“While we have grown significantly in step with the town, we have retained our close-knit community feel and special school ethos brought about by our unique remote location.”

When St Paul’s Primary School opened in 1978 to meet the demands of a growing town and demand for Catholic education, it had just four staff and 80 students.

It has since grown to accommodate a student population of more than 400 and about 40 staff.

Karratha business owner Libby Harris was part of the school’s first intake of students in 1978 and she remembers the school as being like “a little family”.

“Things were pretty different back then – we didn’t have to wear hats, there was no playground, library or admin staff and the kids were expected to pull their weight with cleaning and gardening duties around the school,” she said.

Ms Harris said it was good to see her niece and nephew attending the school today, continuing the family tradition.

For more information or to buy tickets to the anniversary ball, visit the St Paul’s Primary School website.

Tickets are open to all community members. Staff are also calling on anyone with historic photos, memorabilia or stories about the school to get in contact.

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