BY Daniel Harkins | November 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


A proud history for Glasgow’s ‘St Francis Primary family’

A primary school in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas celebrated its proud 150-year history of welcoming immigrants as it marked the 50th anniversary of its school building last week.

Pupils at St Francis’ Primary School in Glasgow had a golden day of celebrations on November 14, as they celebrated the half-century in the Gorbals school.

The school community gathered to mark their golden jubilee at Blessed John Duns Scotus Church, with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow and parish priest of Blessed John Duns Scotus, Fr Ed Highton.

Also present at the Mass was former staff of the school while the congregation were led in the music liturgy by the school choir, made up of pupils from Primary 4 to 7.

Headteacher Sharon McGeever gave a talk about the school’s history at the end of Mass, while outside afterwards the archbishop spoke with some of the pupils. There was also a beautiful display of photographs through the last 50 years from St Francis’ Primary, with people having the opportunity to come and reminisce about their own fond memories of their time in the school community.

Catholic teaching in the Gorbals began more than 100 years ago, when Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception began to teach children in the area. A year after the founding of St Francis Parish in 1868, the Sisters were given a room in the newly built church, and so began the first of almost 150 years of St Francis school.

Mrs McGeever said the school community is and always has been a diverse ‘family.’

“The Gorbals has always been an area where immigrants from many different countries have settled with their families, and as a result, our school today, while being proud of and recognised for its very strong Catholic ethos, is a school of many faiths and cultures,” she said.

“Our families originate from countries all over the world, spanning three different ­continents, and our children speak a total of 41 different languages. The cultural diversity of St Francis’ Primary enriches the learning of our children in so many ways and makes it a privilege for all of us to be a part of what we call ‘The St Francis Family.’”

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