Our Heritage is our story, our mission, our ethos and our people. At this moment in our story, we pause to contemplate all that has been and consider all that might yet be.
Loreto's magnificent Acacias building houses our own Heritage Gallery; a permanent exhibition for use by our scholars, both past and present, now and into the future.
The Heritage Gallery to display our collection of archival documents and artefacts, is important to:
- preserve the vision and values of Mary Ward and Mother Gonzaga Barry;
- celebrate the memory of the early struggles, vision and committment of the Loreto Sisters;
- trace the development of Loreto in Adelaide during the past 100 years;
- enshrine memories of Old Scholars and their achievements;
- pass on Loreto's heritage to present and future students; and
- record the contribution of families to the development of the school.
A brief history of Loreto in Adelaide
Following the arrival of the Loreto Sisters in Ballarat in 1875, Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry was responsible for founding Loreto schools in most states of Australia. In 1899, Archbishop O’Reilly asked her to come to Adelaide. However it was not until 1903 that she began negotiations after her friend, Mother Mary MacKillop, told her,
“There is work for you to do in Adelaide that no one else will do. Your house there will yet be the most important of all your foundations in Australia.”
By 1905 a suitable house had been found in Sydenham Road , Norwood (now Wynwood Nursing Home). Mother Gonzaga arrived with Mother Boniface Volker as first Superior and Mother Bertrand on 14 January. They stayed with the Sisters of Mercy at Angas Street for a fortnight because, although their house was a very fine one, it was in a sadly neglected state and perfectly empty – not a chair or bed or table in it.
But the Sisters of Mercy from Goodwood helped them to clean and scrub and on 28 January, joined by two other sisters, they moved in to be greeted by the Blue Sisters with a hot dinner. The Sisters of St Joseph offered their help and school opened early in February with five pupils.
By 1907 there were 70 pupils so Loreto moved to a larger house on The Parade at the corner of Eastey Street . By 1909 adjacent land had been acquired and a new hall and dormitory opened, but numbers continued to increase.
In 1920, after the death of Sir Edwin Smith, his home, The Acacias, became available and Loreto moved to Marryatville.
Gradually further properties have been bought and new buildings erected, including classrooms, science laboratories, dormitories, libraries, a gymnasium and art centre, to provide for the education of many thousands of students.