St Canice's historic gate

School principal Mark Geerligs with the old Mount St Marys gate, now in the foyer of St Canice's at Katoomba.

ST CANICE'S Primary School in Katoomba has been around the traps in it's history. It was once housed in the original 19th century weatherboard Catholic church in Katoomba St; later it rented an old hall in Bathurst Road and, in 1924, the school moved to the grounds of Mount St Marys Convent and College (which was most recently the Renaissance Centre next to The Edge).

Finally in 1941, the new St Canice's school was built on the site of the old Catholic presbytery at its present site on Katoomba Street. But with an eye on history, when current school principal Mark Geerligs learnt that the old gate at Mount St Marys was hidden away at the side of the church next to the school, he jumped at the chance of getting it.

"I was told by a parishioner that this gate was by the side of the church," he said. It was tucked away and rarely seen. So he asked the priest if it could be relocated to the school, "knowing its importance to our history"

The gate - "it weighs a ton" said Mr Geeerligs - now has pride of place in the entry foyer of St Canice's, the MStM letters clearly visible in its centre.

Beside it are some historical photos - of the old building, of five of the Sisters of Charity nuns holding snowballs and another of St Canice's students in the 1960s in the old school grounds

The other addition to St Canice's is a magnificent leadlight window featuring the school's totem, the Three Sisters, designed by Leanne Tobin and made by Black heath artist Rodney Marshall.