St John’s School continues in the tradition and charism of Nano (Honoria) Nagle (1718 – 26 April 1784) who founded the “Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (also known as the “Presentation Sisters“).
The names of our school factions recognise significant people and places relating to the local history of Geraldton. The factions are:
- Blue – Batavia
The Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company. The Batavia was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage, and made famous by the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors. The symbol is a pelican which is taken from the coat of arms of Bishop Thomas who was Bishop of Geraldton when St John’s School was founded.
- Gold – Hayes
Named after Wiebbe Hayes, who became a national hero after he led a group of soldiers, sailors and other survivors of the shipwreck of the Batavia against the murderous mutineers at the Abrolhos Islands off the Western Australian coastline in 1629. The symbol is an eagle which is the symbol of St John the Gospel writer and Evangelist. St John’s School was named after St John.
- Red – Pelsaert
The Red faction is to be called Pelsaert. Francisco Pelsaert was a Dutch merchant who worked for the Dutch East India Company, who became most famous as the commander of the ship Batavia, which ran aground on the Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Western Australia in June 1629. The symbol is the lantern and Southern Cross which is the symbol of the Presentation Sisters. The Presentation Nuns were the Religious Order which founded St John’s School. A Presenation Sister, Sister Raphael Quirke was the founding Principal of the school.
- Green – Abrolhos
The Green faction is to be called Abrolhos. The Houtman Abrolhos is a chain of 122 islands in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. It is also well known as the site of numerous shipwrecks, the most famous being the Dutch ships Batavia, which was wrecked in 1629. The symbol is the lion which is the symbol of St Mark. The St John’s School motto is Sinite Parvalos (which means Let the Little Children) is taken from St. Mark’s Gospel.