St Joseph’s Primary School was founded by the Ursuline Sisters, St Joseph’s Parish and the community of Tweed Heads in 1917. The idea of a Catholic school at Tweed Heads can be traced as far back as 1912 by the Redemptorist Fathers, who had established a monastery at Monastery Lane. Through fundraising efforts of the local community, the money was raised for St Angela’s Convent on Frances Street and a school on Enid Street.
On 17 September 1917, the convent and school were blessed and opened by Bishop Carroll, with an enrolment of sixty students. St Joseph’s was administered by five sisters of the Ursuline Order who had travelled from Armidale led by Mother Superior Angela Dalton. The nuns worked hard to provide quality faith-filled primary education, offering music, speech and commercial subjects for thirty-four years.
By late 1951, the Ursuline nuns were forced to withdraw from the community due to the effects of the Second World War. The Presentation Sisters of Lismore accepted the invitation from Fr Hanly to come to Tweed Heads Parish.
At the commencement of the 1952 school year, there were eighty pupils under the care of Principal Sister Mary Joseph Reynolds. Over the next thirty-seven years, St Joseph’s would continue to grow under the leadership of the Presentation Sisters.
By 1958 the number of students had grown and new buildings were required. Further additions were added to the school in 1979 that could accommodate the two hundred and eighty students.
At the end of 1987, the Presentation Sisters withdrew their principalship of St Joseph’s Primary School, passing the position to a lay principal.
Building upgrades and redevelopment continued to transform St Joseph’s Primary School. By 2010, the last of the old buildings had been replaced to make way for more modern facilities. Unfortunately, the original school building was not large enough to function as a library for the three hundred and ten students. It was cut up and moved to the Tweed Valley Lawn Cemetery where it has been reassembled for the benefit of the Tweed community.
From humble beginnings in 1917, our school has developed into the modern contemporary learning space that it is today.