An early reference to a Catholic schoolhouse in Maryborough was made in ‘Freeman’s Journal’ in February 1858. James Cleary became the first teacher, and the school doubled as a Church whenever there was a priest in the district. The first Parish Priest, Fr. Paul Tissot, invited two Sisters of St. Joseph to Maryborough. They arrived in July 1870, and began teaching infants and girls in St. Joseph’s School, Adelaide Street. The original schoolhouse continued to be used for the boys, the lay teacher being John Healy.
Maryborough was the first town outside Brisbane to welcome two teaching congregations, the Sisters of St. Joseph (1870) and the Christian Brothers (1888).
Maryborough has the distinction of having the second Christian Brothers school established in Queensland, but it was almost the first. The Catholic community made the first application in the state for a Brothers school (Fr. Tissot in 1874). Members of the Christian Brothers order were on their way from Melbourne to open a school in Maryborough when the Archbishop ‘intercepted’ them in Brisbane and persuaded them to open a school at Gregory Terrace.
In its original form, the Christian Brothers school was a low-blocked timber building, which was raised and put on high blocks in 1919.
The only financial support for the school came from a voluntary contribution system in which fees ranged from 6 pence to 18 pence per week. Children of the poor were taught free. The original Trustees of the school were Richard Bingham Sheridan and Valentine Barbeler.