PAST pupils from near and far gathered at St Mary's Primary School and St Mary's College on Sunday to celebrate the 150th birthday of Mercy education at St Mary's.
It was the culmination of celebratory events throughout the week including the opening of the refurbished St Mary's Convent, the college musical The Belles of St Mary's, the opening of the Mercy heritage display in the Ipswich Art Gallery and a 150th celebratory dinner on Saturday night.
The day began with Mass in St Mary's Church presided over by parish priest Father Peter Casey and Father Paul Catchlove.
Mass began with a procession of 150 people each carrying a rose and dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, the patroness of the school.
A beautiful and prayerful religious celebration, it evoked the memory of a long line of priests, religious and lay people who laid the foundations of the school in difficult conditions.
Then people shared memories and renewed old acquaintances over lunch and further memories were sparked by visits to classrooms where people were able to see how learning had changed over 150 years.
The next celebratory event is a High Tea on Saturday, July 27 in St Mary's Hall.