1917 - Kerr St school

"On April 15, 1917, the Dominican Sisters took up residence in a house bought from Mr Julian Windeyer at the corner of Kerr and Bull Streets, and opened a school on the following day with 50 children. In 1919 they moved to the present site of San Clemente on the corner of Crebert and Havelock Streets. Adjacent properties were acquired later."
(50 Years of Progress 1900-1950. Mayfield Jubilee Celebrations Souvenir Booklet p. 23)

"Later in 1917 the enrolment had risen to 107, demonstrating the need for the school in the area.
(Booklet of the Golden Jubilee St Mary’s Dominican Convent Maitland 1867-1917. St Mary's Dominican Convent, Maitland, 1917)

The pupils at Kerr St. included both boys and girls, with some girls boarding. 

"About the middle of June 1917 I was accepted as a pupil at our first Catholic Primary school at Mayfield. Coming from the country and being taught by Mum it seemed huge to me, I made the twentieth pupil.

"The long desks were used then. All fitted on one seat. It was nothing to land on the floor; we were squashed. ... We were very happy, loved our teachers and our school."
(Sr. M. Julianna Cooge O.P. in St Columban’s, celebrating eighty years of history, 1917-1997 p. 6)

"The Windeyer house was built in 1880, and "Julian Windeyer was a prominent Newcastle solicitor. The Windeyers, like other wealthy families of the time, had indentured servants, including girls as young as 13, who would work as maids." 
(Mayfield, the Toorak of Newcastle?. <http://libguides.newcastle.edu.au/mayfield/walks> (30/5/17))

The Convent and school remained at Kerr St until the end of 1919.

San Clemente Small 


"San Clemente" Dominican Convent, Mayfield, North Waratah

Golden Jubilee 1867-1917 of the Dominican Nuns of N.S.W.

Windeyer House Small


"Windeyer house", Bull Street, Mayfield

50 Years of Progress: Mayfield Jubilee Celebrations 1900-1950 Souvenir Booklet. 

 Kerr St House Small


Kerr St. house

(St. Columban's Primary School.  <http://www.schools.ash.org.au/stcol/history.htm#san>, 21/5/07)


 Mother Concepta



Reverend Mother Concepta O'Donohoe O.P.

Foundation Principal/Prioress

San Clemente Dominican Convent/Boarding school

Source: San Clemente Archives

1917 03 07 Meeting To Raise Funds For Primary School Opening Next Month (1)


A meeting to arrange a fete to raise funds for the new school was held in March 2017

1917 04 14 Dominican Convent Kerr St


Advertisement for the new school, in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate, Saturday 14 April 1917

1917 05 05 Garden Fete At Mayfield (1)


The fete was "supported by Mr Julian Windeyer, whose residence the school formerly was, and he congratulated the nuns on having already an enrolment of 70 pupils, although the school has been open only three weeks."

5 May 1917

1917 05 07 District News Mayfield

Dominican Convent Fair
District news, Mayfield, 7 May 1917.

"It is charmingly situated on the three-acre property, until recently the home of Mr. Julian Windeyer, at Kerr-street. The surroundings are delightful and from the grounds views may be obtained of the Hunter River and the steel works at Port Waratah."

Text of article

1917 05 24 Newcastle And Thereabouts Link

Newcastle and thereabouts, 24 May 1917

"The beautiful home and grounds secured by the Dominican Nuns at Mayfield is looking at its best"

1917 05 31 Kerr St Opened By Bishop


Visit of the Bishop to open the Convent school at Mayfield, 31 May 1917

1917 06 16 Link Opening Of Convent And School


New South Wales 16 June 1917

"The school has three fine classrooms with accommodation for 90 children. The school opened with 50."

1917 07 19 Link Newcastle 90 Children Prepared To Receive Boarders


Newcastle 19 July 1917

"The Dominican Nuns are very pleased with the progress of their new school at Mayfield, 90 children attending their day school. They are now prepared to receive boarders"

1917 12 14 Link Annual Concert Nmh


Mayfield Convent School Annual Concert 

was held on the 17 December 1917, and was reported on in both the Catholic Press and the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate

1918 01 03 Link Waratah Convent School Concert


Waratah. Convent school concert 3 January 1918

"The school at Mayfield was a young school. He (the Bishop) was glad to see the people of Waratah had taken so kindly to it, and that they were encouraging the Sisters in so many ways."

1918 04 06 Link Waratah Trebled Enrolment

Waratah. Garden fete 6 April 1918 
"..the convent school had been opened a year ago, and in that time it had almost trebled its numbers, and the presence of the nuns had changed the whole atmosphere of the district. The object of the sisters was not only to give good secular instruction, but to produce good men and women, who would become good and useful members of society."

1919 02 01 Link Dominican Convent

Dominican Convent. Kerr-Street, Mayfield, North Waratah 1 February 1919

"Boarding and Day schools will Reopen Tuesday, JANUARY 28. Special Classes in Bookkeeping, Shorthand, Typewriting, English, and Arithmetic have been organised for those who wish to embrace a Commercial course."

1919 06 24 Basketball

Basketball 24 June 1919

"Two teams from Merewether Public School gave and exhibition of basket ball. "At the close Merewether won, and, considering it was the first attempt on the part of the "San Clemente" pupils, they acquitted themselves creditably."