A frenzied waving of flags and a motorcade through the streets of Abaco ended in a Junkanoo rush-out at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School.
The celebration on Jan. 30 marked the observance of 125 years of faith, knowledge and service with a focus on building academic success, good character, Christian values and exemplary citizenship for the Bahamas Catholic Board of Education.
St. Francis’ staff members and students also celebrated the school’s 50th anniversary.
Claudette Rolle, director of the Catholic Education Board, travelled to Abaco for the festivities, and was accompanied by first Bahamian Archbishop the Most Rev. Patrick Pinder and Chairman Lambert Longley.
Rolle said that the Catholic Board of Education would like to see all Catholic schools continue in their tradition of excellence.
“St. Francis de Sales has a very rich legacy and has done well over the years in all aspects of education,” she emphasized. “They’ve done well in the arts, and they’ve done well in academics.”
St. Francis was founded in 1964 by Father Patrick Argue, who with the assistance of the parish priests of St. Francis de Sales Church, were an integral part of the school’s operation.
According to the school’s records, the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey accepted Bishop Leonard Haggarty’s invitation to staff St. Francis de Sales School in 1969. Initially established as a primary school, the school was located at the St. Francis de Sales Convent for 32 years before relocating to its present location on Don Mackay Boulevard.
Since 1889, there have been 25 Catholic schools established throughout Bahamas. Among them is Every Child Counts (ECC), which is the sister school of St. Francis de Sales Catholic School. ECC opened its doors in 1997.