SHUTTING DOWN: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in East Lismore.
SHUTTING DOWN: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in East Lismore.

The doors will shut at Lady of Lourdes

WILL JACKSON will.jackson@northernstar.com.au A SHOCK revelation that Our Lady of Lourdes Infants School in East Lismore is to be closed has devastated many of its students' parents. Catholic Church administrator Fr Dennis Carroll sent a letter out late last month informing them of the decision to shut the nearly 50-year-old institution. "I have taken the decision to close Our Lady of Lourdes Infants School at the completion of a $3.4 million renovation and upgrading at St Carthage's Catholic Parish Primary School," Fr Dennis said in the letter seen by The Northern Star. "After this major work, the focus of educational development in the parish must move to the Goonellabah area as Lismore expands. "The completion of work at St Carthage's is at least three years in the future. "Every person associated with Our Lady of Lourdes is invited to prepare for a wonderful culmination and reunion as the closure draws near." There are currently 71 students at Our Lady of Lourdes, from kindergarten to grade 2, five teachers and two assistants. Staff have been ordered not to comment about the issue. One parent spoken to by The Northern Star said she was angry and confused about the decision. She said there were rumours flying about the Catholic community as to why the school was to be closed, but the church had so far steadfastly refused to make any further official comment on the matter. However, a group of parents have arranged a meeting with Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett where they hope to get some answers. The mother said she did not wish to be identified or speak on behalf of all parents at the school. Many other parents and former students were distressed about the planned closure, she said. "It's a well run little school with great teachers," the mother said. "You just can't fault it. Our children who are there at the moment won't be affected, but we want to send future kids there. We just don't want it to close." She said the news had come as a shock to the school's teachers and staff. "There's a great deal of confusion about it," she said. "It's been really dishonest the way these things are being done." Fr Dennis declined to answer what the church planned to do with the site once the school was closed.



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