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The Loreto Convent School Timeline

Mary Ward Aus Loret

Birth of Mary Ward


Founding of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the opening of the first school at St Omer in Belgium


Suppression of the Institute by Pope Urban VIII


Death of Mary Ward, But her followers kept alive her vision and inspiration


Founding of the Bar Convent in York, England by Mother Frances Bedingfeld a follower of Mary Ward, First Convent to be opened in England after the dissolution of Monasteries in 1536 by Henry VIII



Birth of Frances Ball in Dublin, Ireland














Founding of the Irish branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as Loreto sisters, by Mother Frances Teresa Ball, who has been educated and trained as a religious at the Bar Convent in York. Her first Convent became known as Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, Dublin.















The first Loreto Mission founded outside Ireland began in Calcutta.
Followed by:




Toronto, Canada


Manchester, England


Death of Mother Teresa


Ballarat, Australia


Pretoria, South Africa. Mother Margaret Mary Jolivet, Mother Joseph Colahan and Mother Teresa Colahan opened the school at Loreto Convent Skinner Street on 7 June, with 20 pupils in the high school and 6 in the parochial school.


Siege of Pretoria: Convent buildings were taken over by the military on 16

December. Mother Margaret Mary died during the siege 15.01.81

March 27: Siege ends and school life resumes as normally as possible


First Subsidy given to the school by Kruger Government on condition that Dutch was taught in the school


Opening of Loreto Lydenburg. Another journey by ox wagon!


Outbreak of the Anglo Boer War. School was temporarily closed. Mother Joseph and Mother Teresa went to Ireland to get help.


The two Transvaal Houses come under the jurisdiction of Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham


The Transvaal Houses are placed under the leadership of Mother Patrick


1914 - 18
World War I. Travel makes it impossible to get help in the form of personnel

from overseas but school life proceeds as usual.

New block built. (Present school offices and Grade 7)

Branch House opened in Hillcrest


Loreto Strand is opened


Loreto Skinner Street celebrates its Golden Jubilee. Besides a drama production, the School's 35 piece Orchestra puts on a gala performance


1929 - 33
The Great Depression. Hard times for all and the number on the roll at Skinner Street drops


1939 - 45
World War II. Once again school proceeds as usual but it is not possible for new teachers to travel from overseas


Smuts' immigration policy brings new pupils and new life to the school


The Provincial Government passes the Language Ordinance

restricting the admission to the school to English speaking pupils.

Archbishop Garner challenges the Ordinance in the law courts.

He wins his case in Supreme Court but loses it when the Province appeals

to the Appellate Division. A costly exercise.

Roll of Loreto Skinner Street reaches the highest ever: 853! Where did we put them?


1963 - 65
Vatican II. Many changes in the Church and incidentally in Religious Life are introduced.

These have far-reaching effects on Loreto Convent Skinner Street,

especially on the composition of the school staff

First non-white pupil admitted to Loreto Convent Hillcrest.

The daughter of the Malawian Ambassador.

Skinner Street follows suit but the number of pupils of other races is limited by a quota system

Loreto Skinner Street celebrates its centenary. A week of celebrations included

a Pageant of the History of Loreto and a Mass for many Friends, Past Pupils, Parents and pupils.

These events took place on the Hockey Field.

The effects of Vatican II began to be felt as the apostolate of Schools for the Sisters was superseded

by apostolate for the underprivileged.

This factor combined with the ageing process led

to the sister being replaced by lay staff in our schools.

We celebrate the 4th centenary of the birth of Mary Ward


We receive the first Government subsidy for our schools since the day of Paul Kruger


The running of Loreto Skinner Street is handed to a Board of Government


The first lay Principal is appointed: Mrs Helen Addis


We celebrate the bi-centenary of the birth of Mother Teresa Ball


Mrs Renée d'Oliviera succeeds Mrs Addis as Principal, and two gentleman teachers join the staff

October 7: Our long awaited new Hall is started


March 3: The keys of the New Hall are handed over at a special ceremony.
June 1: Archbishop George Daniel blesses a commemorative plaque in our New Hall,

followed on June 5 by the official opening, a Special Mass in the morning and a drama production by each section of the school in the afternoon and evening.

The first Loreto Seminar is held at Loreto Queenswood


Mr Stuart Shillinglaw succeeds Mrs d'Oliviera as Principal
The second Loreto Seminar is held at Loreto Skinner street


High school for the first time appoints coordinators in different learning areas


All the Sisters leave the convent. The school takes occupation of the convent to be used as media centre and extra offices
The new Daycare centre is opened and blessed by Father Victor


The third Loreto Seminar is held at Loreto Queenswood



Mr Stuart Shillinglaw retires as the Executive Principal of the School. Mrs Suzette Truter is appointed as the new Executive Principal, commencing duties for the 2017 academic year. 


Loreto Convent School celebrates its 140th Birthday - what a milestone! A number of activities were held in celebration of the birthday, including a Gala Dinner, birthday cake for learners on the 7th June, a very successful Dance-A-Thon and other exciting events. 

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