St Flannan’s Primary School was the first school conducted by the Holy Spirit Sisters in Brisbane. The school was officially opened on Monday 29 March, 1954 by Archbishop Duhig and four sisters – Srs Delores, Coreen, Elaine and Lorraine took on the task of educating 132 children (91 girls and 41 boys). All classes were held in the church, with no partitions to separate the classes and very little in the way of furniture. Conditions were very primitive.
By 1955, these conditions had not improved, and there were 196 pupils enrolled in five classes. The school motto Caritas et Veritas (Love and Truth) was decided on and everyone settled down to a new year of work. School fees were charged at the rate of 2/6 (two shillings and six pence) per child per week up to a maximum of 10/- (10 shillings) per week for a family of four or more.
Four years after its opening, the school saw the first purpose built classrooms the Blue or High School opened. By 1963, the school had grown to 230 pupils with 6 teaching sisters, a music teacher and a housekeeping sister. Archbishop O’Donnell blessed and opened the first brick classroom block of four teaching areas soon after in 1967.
The 70s saw a steady growth of the school population which necessitated further buildings. This decade also saw the first appointment of a lay principal in Brisbane Catholic Education Office, Mr Al Arnall. Bishop John Gerry also blessed and opened the new school library in 1978. The school marked its Silver Jubilee in August 1979.
In 1985, the Holy Spirit Sisters, who had done so much for the school, withdrew from the parish to undertake missionary work elsewhere. Over the next two decades, technology played an important role in the school with a networked television and video system installed and computers installed in the library and eventually into all classrooms. Sudanese families arrived in the parish and St Flannan’s school had more Sudanese students enrolled than any other Catholic school in Brisbane.
The new preschool was opened in 2002 and in 2006, a further Prep classroom was added to this. The newly refurbished school library was opened in 2003. Recently, classrooms have also been refurbished to make them more attractive and suited to the educational needs of the students.
Over the years, there have been many dedicated Principals and teachers, both religious and lay alike, and many parents who have help build St Flannan’s School into the thriving, happy and educational place that it is today