In 1911 Monsignor Gillan of St Benedict’s Parish purchased five acres at the end of Telford Avenue in Balmoral, an emerging Auckland suburb. One year later Good Shepherd School tentatively began life with the opening of two classrooms in Pine Street, directly behind Telford Avenue.
The School was run by the Sisters of St Joseph who travelled each day by tram from St Benedict’s. The Sisters of St Joseph were founded in 1866 by Saint Mary MacKillop, a remarkable Australian woman who dedicated her life to helping those in need.
In 1921 Fr William John Murphy arrived at Good Shepherd Parish as its first Parish Priest. He then vigorously applied himself to preparing the grounds for the parish complex to be built and on 17 September 1922 the foundation stones of the new school and presbytery were blessed by Bishop Liston. Various additional classrooms were built over the years to cater for an increasing school roll and Good Shepherd became the largest Catholic primary school in Auckland. In 1924 the Sisters of St Joseph established a convent in Telford Avenue where they lived until 1978. At that time the convent was purchased by the Diocese and converted to a residential home for intellectually handicapped men and women, which it remains to this day.
In the 1930s, with an ever-increasing roll, the School opened a secondary department providing clerical tuition for girls. However in 1954 the secondary department was closed down as the primary school roll had swelled to 496 pupils. With such a large school base the need for a bigger Church became apparent. The old Church building (now the Parish Hall) was moved 86 feet to one side to make room for the new Church and in August 1959 the new Good Shepherd Church was officially opened and blessed.
In 1989 the first Board of Trustees was appointed to the School. The Board replaced the School Committee providing governance and support for the school management team. It was from this Board that the School Charter was developed and the following Mission Statement put forward to challenge all future Boards and parents:
Good Shepherd School holds the vision of a positive, Roman Catholic learning environment, enabling children to reach their full potential by recognising and catering for the needs and rights of individual children.
Since its inception, Good Shepherd School has always maintained a strong Catholic character and spirituality together with a dedicated and committed staff. A major part of the School’s strength lies in its multi-cultural ethnicity and meeting the challenges and needs that arise from this. It is with this very much in mind that the School moves forward welcoming and embracing the changes that diverse cultures demand without compromising its essential Catholic character. The values first instilled by the good Sisters of St Joseph continue to be passed on through generations of pupils, staff and families associated with the School.
Parish Priests of Balmoral
1921 – 1948 = Father W J Murphy
1949 – 1972 = Father J McMahon
1973 – 1981 = Father J McGuire
1982 – 1987 = Father D Doyle
1988 – 2003 = Father P Ward
2004 – 2012 = Father R Elago
2012 – 2013 = Father E Dimarucut
2013 – 2013 = Father I Ratuvereseganirawa
2013 – 2015 = Father L Miranda
2015 - Present = Father P O'Sullivan