Historic plaques unloved
The Sunday morning markets in Geraldton at the Old Railway Station are incredibly popular.
In company with my wife we usually do a hit and run mission, nearly always buying bread and sometimes a bottle of olive oil or honey.
I won’t say it is a Sunday morning ritual, but we walk to the markets on a fairly regular basis.
Recently I had reason to walk past the markets on the platform side and continue north.
Away from the railway station, heading over towards the marina is a large stone embedded in the ground with a couple of plaques attached. The plaques look unloved.
I’ve seen the stone or rock and its plaques before, and I’ve perversely wondered if they disappeared would anyone notice?
Some of you might know that the stone commemorates the place where the Presentation Sisters, a Catholic teaching order, began their work in Geraldton in 1891.
It is the original site of the Star of the Sea Presentation Convent, which was renamed Stella Maris College in 1911 which was then established in buildings on the grounds which are now known as Nagle Catholic College.
Stella Maris, a girls’ school eventually amalgamated with the boys’ school St Patrick’s College the two of them becoming Nagle in 1994.
It is another part of our great but often neglected Geraldton history, but yet the memorial stone and its attendant plaques languish surrounded by a sea of weeds, far off any historical walking trails.
If you occasionally make the journey to the Sunday markets, I’d recommend you take a detour to look at the memorial and its plaques. It might not look impressive, but it marks a great story of education in Geraldton that continues today.