Bricks and Mortar

Victoria Road Parramatta

Victoria Road Parramatta

Old School room at Parramatta Marist at Victoria Road circa early 1900s
St Patricks & Parramatta Marist – Victoria Road circa 1940’s  Source: John Cox
From the 1950 Year Book – Victoria Road
1930s photo of old school in Victoria Road and monastery. Thanks to Chris Jurd (1964) who supplied this photo

1938 Aerial View of Parramatta including Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta Marist & Kings School.
Thanks again to Chris Jurd for this 1938 aerial View of Parramatta including Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta Marist, St Patrick’s Church & Kings School.  Council depot and old swimming pool on centre left of photo.
Source: Early and recent memoirs of – Parramatta, the cradle of Australia : official publication to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Parramatta / editor, James Jervis.(1938)
Aerial View Victoria Road 1943. The boundaries are marked in red. It is hard to believe that that up to 1,000 boys fitted into this site up until the mid 1960s. This is probably where the term “full as a Catholic School” came from.

Then and now, at least 2018. The Victoria Road site March 2018 with BankWest Stadium nearing completion. Thanks Google Earth.
1965 Marist Brothers Parramatta from Victoria Road –
Again, thanks to Chris Jurd for this 1965 image of Marist Brothers Parramatta from Victoria Road.
Victoria Road then (1970s)
Victoria Road now – without the School
Last class at Victoria Road 1994

Darcy Road (Old Windsor Road) Westmead

The construction of Stage 4 of the Parramatta Bypass – completed in December 1981 – spelt the end of the Westmead-Wentworthville section of Old Windsor Rd, being severed into a number of residential streets. Only Hawkesbury Road , which leads from the Great Western Highway to Westmead Hospital , retains some reference to the original name of the route. Up to that tine Old Windsor Road went from Hawkesbury Road Westmead, turned right into what is now Briens Road and rejoined the current Old Windsor Road at the current intersection with Old Winsdor Road at Northmead. In December 1981 the Westmead part of Old Windsor Road was renamed Darcy Road which was already in existence at Wentworthville. (Source

The Westmead Campus under Construction. Circa 1965. Source: Alman Harroway

Aerial Images of Parramatta Marist at Westmead circa 1968 -Thanks to Doug Brownlow (1971) who provided these images:
Can you pick out:

  1. Parramatta Showground / Speedway?
  2. Westmead Hospital site?
  3. Westmead Printing?
  4. Platex Factory?
  5. Redbank Disability Institution?
  6. Old Windsor Road?
  7. Tin portables?
  8. Westmead Private Hospital site?

Marist Brothers Parramatta in 1966/7 (Victoria Rd and Westmead Campus)

A video of the highlights of the opening of the Westmead Campus of Parramatta Marist High and Catherine McAuley 1966, the school pool, 1967. This was converted from 8mm film. This project was financed by the Parramatta Marist Old Boys Union. There is no sound.

(9 February 2016) It is 50 years this year since we began the move to the Westmead Campus. Here is some footage, recently digitised by the OBU, of the Victoria Rd site and the opening of the facilities at the Westmead campus. Fortior Ito.

The 1970s at Westmead

Parramatta Marist High Monastery circa. 1970 –
Thanks to Doug Brownlow (1971) who provided this photo, From recollection it was Brother Timothy who was responsible for the landscaping.
ANZAC Day Commemoration 1971
1973 Abseiling down side of School –
Source: Greg Hayes Friday afternoon cadet activity. OHS would put the damp cloth on that one. Not a helmet in sight
1973 School Rifle Range – Source: Greg Hayes

1990s and Beyond

The Morley Centre – 1993
The Morley Centre Interior

Theatrette mural 2016. To commemorate two anniversaries, 50th anniversary of Westmead campus (1966-2016) and 90th anniversary of the first event of the Old Boys Union (a smoko concert 1926)

The mural was painted over in the April holidays 2017 under instructions from a previous principal, Brother Patrick Howlett. The sight lines to the mural were also interrupted by the erection of the large playground shade cloth. 

War Memorial Parramatta Marist High

The Pool

Pool being constructed circa 1966-1967 – Source: Alman Harroway Construction.

Building to the right was Westmead Printing, the building in the top centre was the toilet block and in front of that were the cricket nets (you have to look pretty hard), beyond the toilet block to the left was a building that on the ground floor was the office, tuck shop and carpenter’s shop, upstairs was a big room that was used for Marist Brothers 4th and 6th Class (later Year 7) and was a cinema, dance hall and conference/meeting room.

Down below where the bulldozer is was the remains of three footy fields that Parra Marist and SVBH used to use! (Greg Goodwin)

The opening of the pool (now decommissioned due to the deterioration in concrete) in October 1967 by the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, the Hon. Barry Wilde, a long time supporter of the School.

When swimming carnivals were held at the School’s own pool.
The pool prior to decommissioning in 2016 – just short of 50 years of service. 

The Cyril Shean School Pool was decommissioned in 2015 due to irreparable structural failures in the concrete. Over the last 5-8 years, attempts have been made to fix the leaks but the pool is losing water at a rapid rate from multiple points. The cost of rebuilding this part of a 50 year old pool are prohibitive. A very sad day indeed.

Even sadder, as the Cyril Shean School Pool is decommissioned we learn that Cyril Shean passed away 28 October 2015. Cyril was an Old Boy and resident of St Vincents. Cyril continuously tended the school pool (which was named in his honour) for 32 years until his retirement in 2000. He also managed a number of the School’s rugby league teams over the years. He was a man of warm and generous heart – may he rest in peace.

This sad irony reminds us that physical structures may come and go but the positive impact of generous service to others will outlive physical structures and extend well beyond the the boundaries of the structure.

1 thought on “Bricks and Mortar”

  1. I am an ex- student from 1962 – 1964. I would like to know about our Mathematics teacher Brother Julius (I think), a true Gentleman.

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