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The Opening of the New School.

The following report was taken from the local newspaper of the time

"The new R.C. School, which has been erected in Graham Street at a cost of 8,000, was formally opened on Saturday afternoon. The school, which is of white freestone and two stories in height, will accommodate 200 scholars. It is at once apparent that the serviceability of the building has not been sacrificed at the expense of ornamentation, nevertheless, it is quite a handsome structure and should considerably enhance the appearance of that part of the town. The school has a frontage in Graham street of 104 feet and a depth of 49 feet. The lower flat contains four classrooms for the Junior Departments; also masters' and mistresses' retiring rooms, children's cloakrooms and washing rooms. The stairs on either side lead to the upper departments, which will accommodate 240 scholars of the higher classes and are equally divided in four rooms. The light is well distributed, coming from 24 windows in front, besides the large side windows. The old school, which at one time was then church is retained as a drill hall and recreation room, and will form a valuable addition to the school in time of need.

Before the hour of opening, the members of the local branch of the Irish National Foresters, along with numerous representatives of the Order from Shieldmuir, Motherwell, Carfin, Shotts, Bellshill and Uddingston, assembled at the I.N.F. Hall in Roberts Street, and from there, accompanied by Coltness Silver and Shieldmuir R.C. bands, and with banners flying, they marched through the principal streets of the town to the school. The procession was headed by an Irish jaunting car in which were seated ladies and gentlemen dressed in Irish National costume. Round the platform erected in front of the school, gathered an immense audience of Foresters, schoolchildren, their parents and others. The invited guests included Fathers Mc Connachie, Carluke, Humble of Newmains and Kelly from Shotts; representatives of the School Board, the Parish Council, the Town Council, the medical profession and the local schoolmasters. On the platform were, Father Van Hecke and Mr. M.J. Connell, Glasgow who delivered the inaugural address and formally opened the school. Father Van Hecke introduced Mr Connell as an orator, a poet, a lawyer , a friend of the working man and said he was already well known to some of the people of Wishaw, having on two or three occasions spoken to them with great acceptance. Mr. Connell, who was cordially received, said that although he had not any immediate connection with Wishaw, still he had a connection - one invisible to the material eye, through being a member of the greatest and most glorious church of all the nations in all times. The speaker then proceeded to show that the Catholic Church had encouraged, in fact had been the vehicle of, education and progress from its institution. He instanced the University of Glasgow as an example of Catholic educational zeal; its motto, Via, Veritas, Vita, being indeed our Lord's own words, "I am the Way , the Truth and the Life".

He hoped this illustrious centre would one day help to bring back the Scottish people from their truancy. They had been "plunking " school for a long time, but the Church was a forgiving mother and would not be hard on those sons who returned. Mr. Connell then went on to protest against the inequality Catholics laboured under, in not receiving any return on the taxes they paid to help to support their schools. Referring to the school he said it was a credit to the Catholics of Wishaw and he trusted that the children who would receive within its walls their education, would be a credit to their Faith.

Mr. Connell and Father Van Hecke, followed by the invited guests, then proceeded to the main entrance where Mr. Connell formally opened the school, and was afterwards presented by Father Van Hecke with a gold key suitably inscribed as a souvenir. The invited guests, Foresters, and the general public had then an opportunity of inspecting the school. The guests were entertained in the hall and Mr. Wright of the School Board, in moving a Vote of Thanks to Father Van Hecke, congratulated him on the fine school he had built. After having gone over the new school. The Foresters reformed in procession and marched back to the Foresters Hall where Father Van Hecke followed soon after and thanked the men for the part they had taken in the demonstration."

Only half a dozen years later, the school accommodation was found to be inadequate and a new Infant School , consisting of three spacious classrooms with a large drill hall was added to the existing building. The present capacity is for 700 children.

Shortly after this time, the billiard hall came to be used for the Supplementary Department. It contained a Cookery Room, a Laundry Room, Boys Workshop and Classroom.

Sadly at the end of June 2007, the school was closed and the pupils moved to a Joint Campus with Wishaw Academy in Houldsworth Park. The old school was demolished by Christmas of that year. Parish History | Our Patron | Church History | Parish Priests | Parish Curates | Vocations | Pastoral Council | Parish Services |Parish Organisations | Church Tour | Other Religious Sites | Becoming a Catholic | This Week's Bulletin