The Jesuits arrived in Australia in 1848 and over the next 20 or so years established communities and schools in both Adelaide (St Aloysius’ College in Sevenhill) and Melbourne (Xavier College in Kew) but until the late 1870s the Jesuits did not operate a school in Sydney.
Then, in 1878 the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Roger Bede Vaughan, a Benedictine, met with Fr Joseph Dalton SJ and asked the Jesuits to found a College for boys to meet the needs of the growing Catholic community in Sydney. A property known as St Kilda House on the corner of Cathedral Street and Palmer Street was rented for this purpose.
Forty-five students were admitted on 3 February 1879. The number gradually increased during the year to one hundred and fifteen.
In September, 1883 the College moved to a property known as Auburn Villa in Darlinghurst. This building was later demolished to make way for St Margaret’s Maternity Hospital. The name “Auburn Villa” was changed on purchase to ‘St Aloysius’, the patron Saint of Youth.
Numbers fluctuated considerably towards the end of the century. On 2 February 1903, the College relocated to its present site on Upper Pitt Street at Milsons Point.
As the College community increased, a new wing was constructed and in 1916 an attractive property known as Wyalla, opposite the College, was purchased. In 1939 some market gardens in Tyneside Avenue, East Willoughby, were acquired to build the College Sports Ground.
The number of students after World War II increased rapidly and after considering various options, the Jesuits re-developed the College, beginning in 1961. Existing buildings were demolished and rebuilt in four stages.
To celebrate its one hundredth birthday, the College embarked on a fifth stage which was opened in 1981. Then, in 1991, the College purchased Milsons Point Primary School and created a Junior School Campus in Burton Street, Milsons Point.
In 1995 the Jesuit community, who had always lived within the College, left the main building for a community house at 38 Jeffrey Street. This allowed the top two floors of the College to be renovated.
Most recently, in 2011, the College opened a new basketball court, swimming pool and gymnasium at Dalton Hall, next to Wyalla. Going forward, Plan Magis plans for further redevelopment of both Upper Pitt St and Wyalla, to meet the growing needs of the College.
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St Aloysius College
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