St Mary’s convent and school was officially blessed and opened by His Grace (Coadjutor) Archbishop James Duhig on Sunday, 26 January 1913.
Below is an excerpt from “The Golden West A Centenary History of Charleville Parish, Queensland 1883-1983” By L.J.Ansell, C.F.C.
On 1 February 1913, ‘The Charleville Times’ gave a report on the opening of the school and in its editorial stated:
“The year 1913 will mark the commencement of a new era in the educational affairs of Charleville and district which cannot do other than make for a much-needed uplifting in the religious life of the community. The Sisters can rely on a hearty welcome from all classes and we sincerely hope that the excellent institution which was inaugurated so successfully last Sunday will make for that moral and religious development in our midst, for which it must be admitted, there is some necessity.”
The first members of the Sisters of Mercy Convent were Mother Madeleine, Sisters M. Basil, Reginald, Hilda and Sebastian. These Mercy sisters were also the teachers at the school.
The number of pupils on the opening day was 108. As the school grew in numbers, so did the community, until in the ‘fifties’ the roll call was over 400 and there were a dozen sisters.
St Mary’s educated high school students during the 1960s up until the late 1970s.
In 1990, the Warrego River at Charleville peaked at a record 8.54 metres after weeks of heavy rain in the region and the school was flooded. A small plaque on the wall outside the administration area of the main building marks the flood level reached in April that year.
The Mercy education tradition has been a strong presence in Charleville and is strengthened as St Mary’s School continues to provide a quality education accessible to all, fostering a love of God and instilling a strong sense of moral values in every student.
At present, the school has an enrolment of approximately 125 students from Prep - Year 6. Most students come from the Charleville, with some travelling by bus from as far away as 100 km.