A Brief History of Marist Catholic School Herne Bay

In the 1920’s there was a great need for Catholic schools.

1927 – The people of the Herne Bay area which was then part of the Sacred Heart Parish, Ponsonby, requested a school. So the building of a church and school was commenced by Mr Thomas Daly. The land on which the building was erected was part of the Casey Estate, at that time still undeveloped and covered in bush and scrub.

1928 – The Marist Sisters were asked to staff the new school so, on August 27th, Sisters Kostka and Austin came to Trinity St where the Marist Sisters were living. School began on September 4th, with nine students.

1952 – Due to an increase in Marist sisters as well as the school growing a new convent and boarding school was built and opened in 1953.

1975 – The boarding school was closed, although the Sisters continued to work in the school until the end of 1980

1981 – Marist sisters left convent and moved to Te Atatu.

1983 – The school was integrated into the State system. Roll growth remained stable during this time.

1995 –  with the closure of Vermont Street Catholic School, Marist opened its doors to accommodate ex Vermont Street pupils. In the same year, the school altered its Integration Agreement to allow for Year 7 and 8 boys and later girls of this age level too.

2004 – Four new classrooms were opened. Refurbishment of the hall, library, and offices was completed in 2007.

2011 – the school re-altered its Integration Agreement, taking it back to a school that only accepted pupils from Year 1 to 6.

2013 – two additional classrooms were moved from Marist College onto our school site to accommodate roll growth.

2014 – The Ministry of Education approved roll growth, allowing the school to take an additional 90 students, from a maximum roll of 210 to a new maximum roll of 300. This began the process of planning a build to accommodate an additional 90 students.

2018 – Opened new two-story innovative learning environments, equivalent of 3 classes in each floor. Through this process, two of our old classrooms were removed from the site. We now have 12 classroom spaces and are ready to expand our roll over the next few years to reach its maximum of 300.

2020 – All buildings were named after our founders:

Junior Classes – Austin & Bernard (Founding Marist Sisters)

Middle School – Cleary (Founding Bishop)

Senior School – Chavoin (Founder of the Marist sisters)

Multi-purpose classroom – Kostka (Founding Marist Sister)

Administration Block – Cronin (Ex Parish Priest)

Parish Priests through the ages:

·         P.B. Purcell                         1954-1963

·         J. White                                1963-1972

·         M. Kennedy                       1972-1974

·         H. Jillings                              1974-1975

·         W. Flynn                              1975-1977

·         J. Pierce                               1977-1981

·         A. Faith                                 1981-1982           

·         A.E. (Arthyr) Mullen       1982-1999/2000 Fr Mullen was very active in his support of the school. We have a Fr Mullen Reflection Room on site today containing a beautiful icon that he sponsored to remember the work he did with our school community

·         Paul Cronin                         2001-2010 (Admin) Monsignor Cronin was also a fabulous support of the school. As an ex pupil himself, Marist held a special place in his heart. He recalled that the current Room 1 in the administration block used to be the chapel when he was a pupil and he would be an altar server at Mass there. You will notice the stained glass windows around the front door to our administration block shows that the building is dedicated to him. This dedication was undertaken when the building was refurbished as an acknowledgment of his work and support of the school community. 

·         Rory Morrissey                 2007-2011 (in Resid)

·         Philip Handforth               2011 (admin)

·         Philip Handforth               2012 (PP)            

·         Rory Morrissey                 2013 to present. Fr Rory is our current Parish Priest. If you need to be in touch with him for any purpose please follow this link to the parish website. https://ponsonbyhernebayparish.org.nz/parishes/