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.
On 27 January, 1963, the “new” school which was built in front of the “old” school, was blessed and opened by Monsignor English.
In 1977 the first rumours were heard that the Brothers school was going “co-ed”. In 1979 the rumours became fact with the amalgamation of the Brothers school and the Sisters of Mercy school – on the site of the Brothers school in Lennox Street. The school also adopted a new name – St Mary’s High School.
In 1988 the Christian Brothers commemorated 100 years in Maryborough with Centennial celebrations in August and September.
In 1998, St. Mary’s implemented an expansion into Senior schooling. The school changed its name to St. Mary’s College during the 1997 school year. Since then there have a number of “upgrades.”
In 2011, we opened and blessed our Sacred Heart Language Arts and Science Centre.
During our Remembrance Day service in 2012 our Wall of Remembrance, which stands outside the Tissot Chapel, was dedicated. The wall honours the 35 past students who fell in World War I and II. On the same day a plaque was unveiled which commemorates our Statue of the Sacred Heart which has stood in our school grounds since 1921.
The College continues to improve and expand, with a new Chemistry laboratory opened in February 2014, and renovated classrooms ready to welcome Year 7 students in 2015.