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Open Day 2024: Thursday 25 July REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE

In 1914 Archbishop James Duhig laid the foundation stone for the long sought-after Catholic Boys School on the south side of the Brisbane River.

He chose the scripture reference from Matthew’s gospel (17:4) when Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here’ as the theme of his speech.

His words resonated with the large assembled crowd who had long waited for a new ‘St Kilian’s’ and the arrival of the Christian Brothers to take charge of their school. To their surprise, the Archbishop renamed the school Laurence O’Toole School.

Today, the Catholic secondary boys’ school atop St Kilian’s Hill is known as St Laurence’s College. The school owes its foundation to Dr Duhig of whom The Advocate wrote, ‘His Grace Archbishop Duhig has thrown himself into the work of establishing St Laurence’s with his accustomed vigour.’

The first staff, Brothers J Hogan, Brennan, N Doran and D O’Connell and Mr Dean welcomed 270 boys on our opening day in 1915.

The Brother Hogan Building, which still stands today, was named after the first Principal of St Laurence’s College Brother Joseph Hogan. 

During World War II, the College was taken over by the Army and classes were moved to Greenslopes. 

The campus transformed from 1960 onwards.

A new classroom block was completed in 1961, providing much needed accommodation and in 1968 the Archbishop Duhig Building over the cliff and the Archbishop O’Donnell Building - housing the Science laboratories - were completed. 

In the same year, the College acquired property at Runcorn to extend its sporting facilities. This property now boasts nine playing fields, change rooms and the Br Ryan Function Centre.

In 1973, Archbishop O’Donnell opened the new Secondary Library, the Br Ryan Resource Centre, and added an additional floor to the Archbishop O’Donnell Building and an imposing Chapel. 

In 1975, an additional floor of six classrooms was added to the Archbishop Duhig Building.

Camp Laurence on Moogerah Dam was completed in 1977 as an outdoor recreational and educational extension to our South Brisbane campus.

Our Manual Arts complex was then completed in 1978 and the College gymnasium, named after Br T P Brady who died in office in 1981, was also completed in that year. 

The Edmund Rice Building was completed in 1984 and today houses McElligott Theatre and classrooms. 

Our College operational structures started to change.

In 1994, a College Advisory Council was established to act as a support to the Principal.  

From 1996, the Christian Brothers appointed the first lay principal, Mr D Frederiksen, while still retaining the ownership and control of the College.

In 1999 the Br Grundy Visual and Performing Arts Centre was completed as a central hub for teaching and practicing our many arts offerings. 

In 2009, two new Drama classrooms and a Dance Studio were added to the Edmund Rice Building along with a Tuckshop, Uniform Shop and Band Room on the Ground Floor. 

A shared multilevel car park (complete with synthetic playing field on the top level) and a 1,500 seat auditorium (the Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre) were completed in 2010. The College Administration also moved into the Monastery in 2010, the last Brothers having moved out in 2009.

Our STEM building was completed in 2017 and named the Ian McDonald STEM building, in honour of Principal Ian McDonald. In the following years, the College opened the Chapel of St Laurence O'Toole, a dedicate worship and liturgical space.

In 2017, Mr Chris Leadbetter was appointed to the role of Principal at St Laurence’s College. 

During the first school Term in 2018, the newly refurbished Br Hogan Building was officially opened and blessed as the Primary Precinct.

The College has continued to enhance our facilities with the construction of additional seating and shade, resurfacing of Gair Oval and the outdoor learning space overlooking Mt Cootha.

College History Book, ‘It Is Good For Us To Be Here’, by past Principal Mr Ian McDonald.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson wrote 'there is no history, only biography.' It Is Good For Us To Be Here is the account of the people who are the Lauries story. As we look at them in their context over 100 years and see their story one can only be filled with admiration and gratitude. Their generosity and sacrifice have made the school what it is today. It is a social history that tells the story of a school that has remained faithful to its origins.

A knowledge and understanding of the history of this school is an important part of any appreciation of the traditions and ethos of St Laurence’s College. This book contributes to that understanding. 

To obtain your very own copy of this book, please visit The Lauries Shop during opening hours.