Five Generations at St Brigid's

This year is a special one for the parish of St Brigid's as it celebrates 165 years of education in Raymond Terrace. For the extended Hughes family, it’s extra special as Zac Hughes begins his schooling at St Brigid’s Primary, the fifth generation to be educated there.

It began with Edmund Feeney, known as Ned or simply “Pop”, who commenced school in 1916 at the age of five. His daughter Marlene Hughes (nee Feeney) began her schooling in 1940. In 1957 Marlene married Gerald Hughes, who had also attended St Brigid's, making Zac the fourth generation to attend on his side. Their eldest son Peter began school in 1964, at St Brigid’s of course. Fast forward a couple of decades and Peter’s son Nicholas, a teacher at St Patrick's Primary, Lochinvar, commenced his education in 1986.

Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, great grandmother and great, great grandfather, Zac commences Kindergarten in 2015.

Time has seen the development of many new and exciting learning opportunities at St Brigid's. Ned began his schooling in what is known as the ‘old hall’, where the room was divided in the middle. The 'little room' housed years 1, 2 and 3 and in the 'big room' were years 4, 5 and 6, with one Sister teaching in each room. 

Marlene vividly recalls from her 1940s schooldays the clay trenches dug around the trunks of the fig trees. Whilst the kids played hide and seek in these trenches, they were told to lie in them should a bombing occur – a very real threat at the time.

The Hughes family has had a long and close affiliation with St Brigid’s. It was Marlene and Gerald, with the help of their youngest son Brian, who created the school motto of “Truth & Trust Always" when principal Sr Teresa Curran rsm ran a competition in search of a motto. It was shortened slightly to “Truth & Trust” which still stands today and won the Hughes family a lottery ticket!

As Zac begins his journey at St Brigid's, he is most excited about, "Learning to read and buying ice blocks at the school shop!" 

If you have a St Brigid’s story or photos to share, please E St Brigid’s Primary,, P 4987 2625 or E before the end of February. 

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