Opening of St Luke's School

(photo: Swinton Journal 24 Sept 1938)

On 29 August 1938 Sister Veronica Mary of the Holy Face (Marie Rose McKillop), aged thirty-eight, arrived from the Cross and Passion Sisters in St Mary’s Convent, Park Mount, 458 Bury New Rd, Higher Broughton, Salford to take up the position as headmistress of the new school.

17th September 1938 Blessing and Official Opening of the new school by the bishop, Dr Thomas Henshaw. Already in poor health, this was to be the last official duty of the Bishop Henshaw. He caught a chill that day and died of pneumonia a couple of weeks later on the 29th September.

The Parish Priest in the photo is Fr O'Shaughnessy and to the right of the bishop is Fr McGinnell. The staff of the school when it opened were 

Headmistress: Sister Veronica Mary (Cross & Passion Order - not on the photo as this was not permitted by her Order at the time)


  • Miss Eileen Harney
  • Miss Monica Massey
  • Miss Mary Merrick
  • Miss Clare Garvin

Caretaker: Mr James O'Garr

The building is of a modern design and equipped with the latest appliances

The opening ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries. As well as Bishop Henshaw, there was Vicar General Monsignor Marshall, The Rev L Delaney, Alderman J Lemmon, Councillor A Carroll, Councillor W Merrick (both Foundation Managers of the school), Fr L Parker, Fr Stephen Fitzgerald, Fr V O'Shaugnessy, Fr J O'Shaughnessy, Fr McGinnell, Mr W J Parrish, Mr F M Reynolds (architect), Councillor Hugh Lee, and Fr T J O'Shaughnessy the parish priest.


  • Parish Log
  • Swinton Journal

Can you help?

  • Can you identify any of the children or teachers (presumably the 4 assistants mentioned: which is which?)
  • Does anyone have a photo of Sister Veronica Mary?
  • Do you know any of the school children who, the following year, were evacuated to Blackpool at the outbreak of World War II?

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Parish History Group

If you would like to help research the history of the Parish or have any stories or photos then please get in touch. or speak to Paul Ashton, Stephanie McDonough or Pat Murray

We have some specific requests for information

  • Photos of our Assistant Priests/Curates
  • Photos and stories of the Charter Players
  • Photo
    • Fr J Leo McGinnell
    • James O'Garr  (1891-1979)
    • Billy Brady Sr
  • Servicemen of WWII (your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents ?)
  • Early photos of Ss Peter and Paul