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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2871


Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (10:02): I rise to tell the parliament about the centenary of one of my local schools, St Laurence's College, fondly known in my electorate by its nickname, 'Lauries'. Lauries is a school of great significance in Queensland history. Obviously, at 100 years old, it has been a feature of our community for a very long time. I want to congratulate Lauries, under the leadership of principal Ian McDonald, a very well-known and respected principal in Queensland, for the way in which they are going about celebrating their centenary as a college this year. I am very much looking forward, with leave, to seeing all of the Lauries people at the reception they are hosting at Queensland Parliament House this Thursday night in celebration of that centenary.

Lauries is a Catholic school for boys in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, which is conducted in the tradition of Edmund Rice. The school accept students from year 5 through to year 12. Because of the central location of the school in South Brisbane in my electorate of Griffith, it is well attended by people from all over the local area, not just from South Brisbane. People travel some distance to go to Lauries because it is such a well-known and well- respected school. It is a big school, with total enrolment nowadays of 1,800 boys.

There have been facilities for boys on that site for a very long time. The first development on the hill where Lauries stands in South Brisbane was a seminary for boys called St Kilian's. That was established by the first Bishop of Brisbane, Dr Quinn. But in 1874 the bishop urged the Christian Brothers to take responsibility for St Kilian's as the first of their schools in Brisbane. They duly did. Brother Hogan, Brother Brennan, Brother Doran, Brother O'Connell and Mr Dean took in 270 boys on the opening day of the school in 1915. The original building is still standing.

Having had such a long history, the school has seen its share of troubled times in Queensland history. For example, during World War II the college was taken over by the army and the school itself was moved to Greenslopes. It is a school with many notable alumni. My friend Cate Hartigan is the daughter of a former judge and social justice advocate, Trevor Hartigan, who was an alumnus of St Laurie's. He was so well respected in our community and much mourned on his death. Other notable alumni include Kerry O'Brien, John Anderson, Nev Cottrell, Mark Connors, Cooper Cronk—and there are so many more. I congratulate the school. (Time expired)