Third generation enrols at St Jude’s

Maria Hicks (left), her daughter Emily (right), and Emily’s son Harry at St Jude’s last week. Photo: Chris Gordon.

Some things run in the family. Hobbies, appearance, sporting teams.

And sometimes, schools.

Maria Hicks believes that her grand-son will be the first third-generation student to attend St Jude’s in Holder.

“I think we’re very close… I can’t think of anybody else,” Maria said as her grandson, Harry, prepared for another day in his first week of school.

Harry has just started at St Jude’s Early Learning Centre, his mother Emily attended St Jude’s Primary from 2000-2002 and Maria attended back at the very beginning.

 “I was here from 1975, the very first year that it opened,” she said

“I was here until 1977 in grades 4-6 when it was run by the Sisters of Nazareth. Sr Irmina was the first Principal. She came over from America and had to build the school and the community.

“While she was here the parish got together and built the church.”

During that time, Fr John O’Connor was the first priest at St Jude’s and Maria described him as a very popular figure around the school and the parish.

Work has often meant movement for Maria but her bond with St Jude’s has always brought her back.

“Being a defence force family whenever we’ve had postings back to Canberra we’ve always lived in this area to make sure our children went to this school because I had such fond memories of being here,” she said.

Maria said that one of the things she liked about the school was that its moderate size ensured a close school atmosphere and community. Her vocal support of the school has also been matched by action. Over the years she has been on the School Board, Co-ordinator of the fete committee, helped fund-raising for the P&F and worked on the canteen.

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“It was easy to do because there was always such a strong community that the work was shared and it was never a hardship,” said Maria.

“It’s how I’ve made some of my life-long friends from being involved with the school committees.”

Fond memories of the school run in the family. Maria’s daughter Emily also speaks highly of her time with the school and when the time came for schooling Harry, the choice was automatic.

“I had a great time here,” said Emily.

“I liked the friendships I made here, the location, and it was very close to my grandparents’ house. We had great teachers and some great times, playing netball together, spending weekends together with our families. Just a great experience and I’m hoping it will be the same for Harry.”

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