Schools – Mt St Benedict

Mount St Benedict

This school was established in 1966 by the Benedictine order of the Sisters of the Good Samaritans. This order had acquired the property Regenbah in 1927 at which time they established a novitiate and chapel on the site.

The novitiate was commenced by Sisters Christopher Burrows and Hyacinth Roche – with Sister Christopher as the first Principal. Its first lay principal was appointed in 1994.

The house around which the College was built was Regenbah that had been built by Edgar Olley Jones as his family home shortly after the land was purchased in 1904. The house was designed by the architect George Sydney Jones – who was the brother of E O Jones wife, Florence. Mr Jones was a hotel keeper in Epping and later became the licensee of the Pennant Hills Hotel. They had two daughters. Mr & Mrs Jones employed in their home 3 live in maids, a cook, a house maid, a parlour maid, a stable hand and a full time gardener but found it difficult to retain staff because of the isolation of the property [1].

In 1966, Cardinal Norman Gilroy requested Mother Imelda Mary of St Scholastica’s, The Glebe, to establish a school in the grounds. The official opening was on 23 October 1966 with 65 students.

In 1991, for the school’s 25th anniversary, Monica Brown, a student of the school, wrote the school song, the Spirit of Saint Benedict.

During the early decades of the twentieth century the school regularly had students attending the Beecroft Forum. In 2019 the school took out a long term lease from the National Trust of the adjourning Blackwood Reserve to use for environmental studies.

[1]      H Barker & M Elven, Houses of Hornsby Shire Vol 1 (Hornsby Shire Historical Society, Hornsby, 1989) p 83