Times Past: The school built on a shoestring
JULY 3, 1910 was a red letter day amongst the Roman Catholics of the Goodna district. In the presence of 250 people, the first Roman Catholic school erected in Goodna was blessed by the Rev A Horan of St Mary's Presbytery Ipswich.
The name given to the school was St Patrick's Roman Catholic School and it stood some 200 metres to the south of the quaint old RC Church on Redbank Plains Road, Goodna. It was a wooden building and the suggestion for its erection was put forward by the Goodna branch of the Hibernian Australasia Catholic Benefit Society.
It was on January 9, 1910 that the Rev W Lee assisted by Rev Fathers Gowan and Hayes performed the stump capping ceremony. On that occasion 81 pound was received in offerings and this enabled the building of the school to proceed. The contractor employed being Mr J Carrick of Brisbane.
The school, when completed, consisted mainly of one large room, 17m x 8m, with a stage 2.8m deep and 75cm high at the eastern end, on the north and south external sides, there were verandas 2.8m wide, on the eastern side. The main school room was ventilated by means of eight pairs of large winging stained glass windows. Sister Mary Scholastica was in charge of the school and the Sisters of Mercy from Ipswich would be the teachers there until a convent was built.
Rev A Horan told the people gathered that he had purchased 6 acres of land at Goodna in 1871 on which he built that same year a stone church 26m x 10m, a priests house and a convent school.
The committee who had taken an active part with the building of the school was Messrs J Mulkerin, P McCormack, A Coogan, F McCrystal, T O'Dwyer, M Murphy, M Kerwin, W Kennedy, J McQuillan, S C Kelly, T Milady, J B Smith, P Clifford, J Mc Cormack, J Ryan, P Falvey, T Kelly with the Rev T Hayes and J McCormack as treasurers.
DEATH AT COONEANA
An old resident of this district, Mr Samuel Pearson Welsby, died at Cooneana in November 1884 at the age of 72 years.
Mr Welsby had been one of the passengers on the ship "Fortitude" which arrived in Moreton Bay early 1849 and soon after settled in Ipswich. For a time Mr Welsby kept a private school in Limestone St, Ipswich. He subsequently went into grazing, along with Messrs Beardmore, but the venture was not a success and he later became the owner of a property near Redbank Plains on which he resided until his death.
Mr Welsby did not take a very active part in public matters but he served as a Justice of the Peace and also returning officer for one of the local country electorates.
His daughter Mrs C C Cameron, and her family continued to live at Cooneana following his death.
PETRO FROM MOLASSES
In 1908 supplies of molasses, which was required by farmers for fodder in Victoria and Tasmania were running short the reason being that a Queensland sugar company found it more profitable to convert molasses into methylated spirits. It was also recorded that molasses could be converted into motor car spirit and an important industry could be established, as petrol was worth one shilling and five pence a gallon.