Our History | A Brief History: 1882 - 1996 ( The La Salle Era (1950 - 1988 )

1950 January - A historic year in the annals of the school. 5 De La Salle Brothers, led by Rev. Bro. Patrick O'Donovan who became the new Principal, arrived to take over the administration of the school.

The first picture we have Rev. Bro. Patrick O'Donovan speaking at the ceremony to welcome the Brothers and say farewell to Father Adrian De Vos.

The second picture shows a gathering of Old Boys of St. Joseph's at the ceremony held in front of the school to farewell the Mill Hill Fathers and welcome the La Salle Brothers.

The student population increased to 714. The first class of students sat for the Cambridge School Certificate Examination.

1950 October - The St. Joseph's Scout Troop was formed. 60 boys joined the troop.
1951 - The first science laboratory was set up. History was added to the curriculum. 1952 - St. Joseph's became the first school in Sarawak to enter science candidates for the School Certificate Examination. 1953 - The first Form Six class was started.
1954 -Three candidates sat for the Higher School Certificate Examination. The William Tan Auditorium, two large science laboratories and a two-storey block of 10 classrooms for Form 4 and 5 was officially opened by Sir Anthony Abell, the Governor of Sarawak. The picture shows the William Tan Auditorium and the Form 4 and 5 Block, (today known as the Old Boys' Block).1955 - Bro. Patrick O'Donovan retired as Principal and was succeeded by Bro. Henry O'Brien. 1958 - Three school athletes, Salleh Abdul Wahab, Joseph Lee Gut Hing and Tham Siew Kai were the only representatives from Sarawak in the British Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales.

From left, Rev. Bro. John Gaul, Joseph Lee Gut Hing, Salleh Abdul Wahab, Tham Siew Kai and Rev. Bro. Henry O'Brien.

1960 - Bro. Henry O'Brien retired. His successor as Principal was Bro. Hilary McGroary.

1961 August - The first edition of the school magazine, the Ad Astra (meaning "to the stars" in Latin) was published. 1962 - St. Joseph's Private School, later renamed St. Patrick's School, was set up to provide secondary education for students who could not proceed to Form 1 in Government Aided Schools.

1962 - 63 - St. Joseph's Primary School was built. The Primary School became a separate establishment from the Secondary School. The first picture was taking during the opening ceremony of St. Joseph's Primary School, 1962 while the second is a rear view of St. Joseph's Primary School in 1962. 1963 August Bro. Hilary McGroary left for higher studies in Ireland. Bro. Albinus O'Flaherty succeeded him as Principal.

1970 - Mr. Polycarp Sim and Mr. Poh Chin Hang retired after more than 35 years of sterling service as teachers. This photograph, taken in 1960, shows the late Datuk Polycarp Sim (left) and the late Mr. Poh Chin Hang (right) with Rev. Bro. Henry. Bro. Albinus was transferred to Sibu to become the Principal of Sacred Heart School. Bro. Columba Gleeson became the new Principal of St. Joseph's. The St. Joseph's Old Boys' Association was formed with Tan Sri Datuk William Tan as patron and the late Datuk Polycarp Sim as its first president.

1972 - A new four-storey building housing the library, 2 science laboratories and Form 6 classes, now known as La Salle Block, was declared open by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman Ya'kub, a former student of the school. 1977 - A Board of Management was formed to help govern the school in an advisory capacity. 1988 January - Bro. Columba Gleeson retired as Principal, bringing to an end the 35 year administration of the La Salle Brothers, as well as the era of the Fathers and Brothers in the administration of the school.

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