For nearly one hundred years, St. Augustine School has taught, nurtured and cared for thousands of young children in Vancouver. Through it all, the school has exemplified the successful unification of academic performance and spiritual growth. Daily, her teachers strike a delicate balance between discipline and love, between work and play.
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate founded St. Augustine Parish in 1911. Back then, the school shared quarters with the church in a domed, three story brick building at Arbutus and 7th Avenue in Vancouver. The school was on the first floor, with four rooms for eight grades. The parish hall was in the basement, and the church occupied the top floor, 42 steps up from street level.
St. Augustine of Canterbury was chosen as the patron saint. In the year 596, St. Augustine had set out on a mission to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Despite great danger, he put the need to spread the word of God above all else. And so it was with the school that bore his name.
The first teachers at St. Augustine School were the Sisters of St. Ann, affectionately known as “The Annies”.
In the late 1940’s, the school building was condemned. Needing to replace the structure with a modest budget, the Oblates constructed the building at a cost of $150,000. The school doors opened in September of 1951, and the Sisters of St. Anne continued operations in the new location. The school was labeled as temporary from the day it was built.
Today, St. Augustine School is one of the oldest in Vancouver, having served more than 10,000 young students and their families. The Sisters of St. Anne have since retired, and operations are handled by lay staff. But the mission of the school has remained: to teach children to be kind, generous and diligent, and to have respect for everyone in society, without exception. Like St. Augustine himself, we are to spread the word of God by being living examples of Christianity.