College Timeline

1872

1872

The 1st Catholic Church St Columbkille's was built in Charters Towers on the Just in Time mining lease

1877

1877

Charters Towers is declared a Municipality. St Columbkille's church is relocated to Gill Street.

By the end of the year a school was operating from the Church site with 51 students enrolled.

1879

1879

The Catholic Church was destroyed in a violent storm.

1880

1880

The Catholic Church was rebuilt and took on the name of St. Columba.  The school also took on the shortened name and had 106 female students and 52 male students.   

Bishop Quinn selects the site for a convent for the Sisters of Mercy.

1882

1882

The Sisters of Mercy arrive to take charge at the School, and live in a small cottage on the site which is now the St. Mary's Campus.

Land lots 10, 11, 12 & 13 are purchased by Parish Priest Father Stephen McDonough for the building of the new convent. 

1890

1890

St Columba enrolments reach over 400 students. Rev Father J Comerford arrives as the Parish Priest for Charters Towers and immediately sets about making provisions for a school for Catholic Boys.

1892

1892

The new Chapel and Convent with attached classrooms for high school students were opened by Bishop Canti. Total cost of the building was £4000. It is announced that the Sisters of Mercy are opening a high school in Charters Towers.

St Mary’s opens as a secondary school administered by the Sisters of Mercy.

1898

1898

Due to the lack of teaching Sisters, the senior primary section of the school closes. Major extensions are made to the Church, including the addition of the Bell Tower. Brother Treacy indicates that he will be sending the Christian Brothers to Charters Towers. 

1900

1900

The rapid growth of Charters Towers causes enrolments to quickly exceed the capacity of the seven Sisters of Mercy residing at the convent. Bishop Higgins decides to reassign the Sisters of Mercy to other towns and arranges for 11 Sisters of the Good Samaritan to take charge of the schools. 

Bishop Higgins also writes to the Christian Brothers requesting placement of the Brothers in Charters Towers.

1901

1901

The Christian Brothers arrive in Charters Towers.  Plans are approved for a new boys school and building soon commences.

1902

1902

The Christian Brothers school opens with 96 boys enrolled.  Within the first week numbers had grown to 123 students.

1914

1914

St Mary’s reopens to Boarding students (it is presumed it closed when the Sisters of Mercy left Charters Towers.)

The coming of war was declared on the 4th of August 1914.

1916

1916

Christian Brothers School opens it doors to boarding students, with 83 male boarders enrolled at the school.

The Christian Brothers change the school’s name to Mount Carmel College.

1925

1925

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan celebrate 25 years at St. Columba’s  and St Mary’s.

A Swimming pool is completed at Mount Carmel College.

1937

1937

A new wing including classrooms and a dormitory is opened and blessed at St. Marys. Secondary classes are moved from the convent to the new building. 

1938

1938

Improvements are made at Mount Carmel College, a new football field is opened and work begins on a new oval running between the tennis courts and the baths.

1939

1939

Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced the beginning of Australia's involvement in the Second World War. 

There are 110 boarders and 57 day students enrolled at Mount Carmel. 

1942

1942

Mount Carmel was acquired by the Australian Army for the 116th Australian General Hospital and Mobile Laundry.

The Brothers and 30 boarders were moved to the cramped surrounding of ‘the retreat’ a residence opposite the St. Mary's playground (still standing today). Thirty boarders and 40 day students attend classes here. 

The Army also try to take over St. Mary’s and attempt to relocate the nuns and students to a woolshed in Winton.  Mother Superior was able to intervene and stop this from happening. 

1943

1943

Primary boys took up residence at the Park Hotel, with their new classroom being set up in the bar area, after boarding numbers grew to 54.

1944

1944

The Australian Army returns Mount Carmel to the Christian Brothers.

1947

1947

The Primary Classes being held at St. Mary's Convent are transferred to St. Columba’s School.

1952

1952

The Golden Jubilee celebrating 50 years of the Christian Brothers School was held.

Grade 7 was moved from St. Columba’s primary school to St. Marys.

1958

Work begins on the construction of a swimming pool at St. Mary’s College.

1959

1959

Extensions are made to Mount Carmel to provide room for the eight Christian Brothers, a suite for the Chaplain, and offices for the Principal and school secretary.  The existing residence is converted for use by the senior students.

1963

1963

Work is completed on the new St. Columba’s Primary School Building.  One of the existing buildings is moved to St. Mary’s College and used as a domestic science room and recreation hall.

1966

1966

Bishop Ryan blesses and opens a double story building at St. Mary's College with four classrooms, a typing room & a recreation area. 

1968

1968

Bishop Faulkner lays the foundation stone for the new refectory building at Mount Carmel College.  A modern chlorinated swimming pool is built to replace the old pool.

1974

1974

Due to expanding enrolments at Mount Carmel, the manual arts building is extended by the staff and students themselves to double the capacity of the Metalwork room.

1977

1977

The Stan Verra Memorial building, containing a library and administration offices is opened at Mount Carmel.

Bishop Faulkner announces that the Sisters of the Good Samaritan will no longer staff St. Mary's College.  However they will continue to staff St. Columba’s Primary school.

1979

1979

This is St. Mary's first year under lay administration.  Year 11 & 12 girls from St. Mary's are given the opportunity to complete their schooling at Mount Carmel College.

1981

1981

Ridley Residence is opened by The Federal Education Minister, Mr Fife.  It is the first new dormitory for Mount Carmel College in sixty years. The new dormitory, which is called the Br. R. A. Ridley Residential Block, would have a housing capacity of  60 students and was blessed by His Lordship, Bishop L. Faulkner.

1983

1983

The Ryan residence is completed at Mount Carmel to provide new accommodation for the senior students, with the existing Ridley Dormitory now being used to house Year 10 boarders.

1984

1984

The old building affectionately known as the “HMAS Pinafore” is demolished to provide room for the construction of the new Kelly residence.

The Comerford Residence is Completed at Mount Carmel to provide more accommodation for boarders.

1985

1985

Monsignor Mullins and Mr R. C. Katter, Jnr., blessed and opened the last of the new dormitories, the Fr. Comerford Residential and the Br. Kelly Residential. In the space of five years, five new dormitories have been completed.

1987

1987

Opening of the new girls dormitory at St. Mary's College.

Construction of three tennis courts at Mount Carmel College.

1997

1997

The Christian Brothers relinquished control of Mount Carmel College to the Townsville Diocese after 96 years.

St. Mary's and St. Columba’s prepare to amalgamate with Mount Carmel College. 

1998

The three schools amalgamate to form a single school - Columba Catholic College.  The new college comes under the administration of the Townsville Catholic Education office with St Columba’s as the primary school, St Mary's as the middle school and Mount Carmel as the senior school.

2004

2004

After 131 years of serving Charters Towers the St. Columba’s campus is sold with Primary classes moving to the St. Mary's campus and Secondary classes moving to Mount Carmel Campus.



2014

Renovations are made to the Quinn IT block and new dining, kitchen and meeting facilities are completed in the O’Farrell dining hall.  

2015

2015

Major works are completed at St. Mary's campus including the construction of a 2 storey classroom block, the conversion of the existing administration facilities to classrooms and the renovation of the Mercy building.

2018

2018

New assembly area, science rooms and learning areas are completed at the Mount Carmel Campus.

2020

2020

new year 11 & 12 senior precinct in Kelly Block is completed. 

Contact

Contact Details

office@columba.catholic.edu.au

PO Box 274
Charters Towers QLD 4820

Campus

Mt Carmel Campus

Phone: 07 4787 1744
Fax: 07 4787 4986
6-8 Hackett Terrace
Charters Towers QLD 4820

St Mary's Campus

Phone: 07 4754 6333
59-69 Mary Street
Charters Towers QLD 4820

22 May

We are in week 5 of Term 2
There are 10 weeks in Term 2

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