In 1927 when Box Hill became a Parish, Burwood was established. Father Norman Clack was the first Parish Priest. In 1931 he built the first Church Hall and named the Parish after St. Benedict, the father of Western Monasticism.
On February 2nd 1941 St. Benedict’s school commenced with 25 children. The school grew to 200 children with two Sion Sisters and several lay teachers who made up the teaching staff. The first staff were Mother Marie Augustine de Sion (Teresa Peppard) and Sister Marie Edwardine de Sion (Frances McGrath).
In 1953 St. Benedict’s was declared an autonomous parish and Fr. Bernard Dillon was appointed Parish Priest. The Notre Dame de Sion sisters left St. Benedict’s school at the end of 1953 to establish a parish school in Blackburn. The Marist sisters commenced their work at St. Benedict’s in 1954. Mother Paulin La Roche was principal
In June of 1954 the classes were as follows:
Prep and Year One –Sr. de Montford with 101 students
Year Two – Sr. Gabriel with 96 students
Year Three/Four -Sr. Evangelista with 73 students
Year Five/Six – Mother Paulin with 38 students
In 1956 there were 420 students enrolled. In 1960 there were 630 students enrolled and the school now incorporated a secondary school with classes to Form 4. There were 523 students at the primary level and 103 students at the secondary level. At this time there were 8 Marist sisters and 3 lay staff teaching in the school.
In 1955, under the direction of Fr. Dillon, the building of additional classrooms, two lunch rooms and a staffroom commenced.
In 1956, a further twelve classrooms, two tennis courts and a scout hall/tennis pavilion were constructed.
In 1966 St. Benedict’s received full secondary registration. The secondary school was to be called Chavoin College. It opened at the beginning of the 1967 school year and was separate to St. Benedict’s primary school.
The Marist sisters worked in the parish until the end of 1992. Principals of St. Benedict’s include:
Sr. Paulin La Roche SM 1954 – 1958
Sr. Jeanne-Marie Burke SM 1959 – 1966
Sr. Marie Clarke SM 1967 – 1971
Sr. Philomena Hall SM 1972 – 1973
Tony Cameron 1973 – 1980
Tony Breen 1981 -1986
Ann Burke 1987 – 1989
Bhodana Moss 1989 – 1996
Louise Mackay 1997 – 2007
Barry McLellan 2008 – 2016
Meredith Bennett 2017 – 2019
Caroline Sheehan (acting) 2020
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