ONE hundred years old and still bursting with spirit, the community of St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, finished its centenary weekend with the performance of a new college song on May 6.
Australian composer Alice Chance conducted the 100 Voice Choir, made up of past and present students and staff, for the centenary event crowds at the college’s Ballygriffin Cultural Centre.
Among the crowd was Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy.
Sisters, an original piece by Ms Chance, was received with applause after its debut performance.
Ms Chance thanked the St Ursula’s community for the opportunity to compose the official college song.
“Last year, I visited the college, and immersed myself in the atmosphere, and from then, I wrote Sisters specifically for this community, to share at this event,” she said.
“Thank you for asking me to be a part of your celebrations, and happy birthday St Ursula’s College.”
The centenary weekend was packed with events celebrating the life of the college, such as the May 4 launch of the college’s centenary book, 100 Stories, written by Barb Tamassy.
The launch was presented as part of the civic reception and book launch, which brought more than 200 people, including local and federal members and journalists, as guest speakers.
Another high point was when the last religious sister to be principal of the college Sr Marion Kingston received a standing ovation as she accepted a Paul Harris Fellow, awarded to her by Rotary Club member Heath Henwood for her ongoing support of the education community.
“Being able to help Interact was a privilege, and after I finished my time as principal, the club continued from strength to strength, under the guidance of Mrs Diane Moyle, and Mrs Arianna Greinke,” Sr Kingston said.
Doors to the Decades, a unique memorabilia display that showcased the college’s history throughout each decade, was one of the attractions of the college’s open day on May 5.
College principal Catherine Dunbar said Open Day was as much for current students, as it was for past students.
“A dedicated group of students volunteered their lunchtimes to organise many areas of the entertainment and workshops, and spent time during Open Day, actively engaged with past pupils,” Mrs Dunbar said.
Sunday began with the college community gathered at Sacred Heart Church, Lammermoor, for a Mass of Thanksgiving, concelebrated by Bishop McCarthy, Fr Matthew Moloney, Fr Matthias Ogwo and Fr Simeon Uchendu.
During his homily, Bishop McCarthy paid tribute to the Presentation Sisters who founded the college, and said the order shared similarities with those in the early Church.
“God was working in their (Presentation Sisters’) hearts and minds; they are women of the Church, bold in faith,” he said.