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Saint Aloysius’ School, first Marist school outside Europe

16/05/2017: South Africa

The Marist Brothers gave the South African National Gallery, which now owns the building of the first Marist school outside Europe, a plaque to commemorate the opening of a school 150 years ago in Cape Town.

Former provincial superior of Southern Africa, Brother Joe Walton, presented the plaque to Bongani Hdhlovu, CEO of the Iziko Museums of South Africa, on April 25.

The celebration, with 30 laity and Brothers, included testimonies of a former student and a former teacher of the school.

The Gallery, which has kept the original portal of the St Aloysius School, received the plaque in April that it will place next to the portal with the following words: 

SAINT ALOYSIUS’ SCHOOL - From April 1867 to December 1970, this building, now the Annexe to the Iziko South African National Gallery, housed the first Marist Brothers school in Africa. Founded in France by Saint Marcellin Champagnat in 1817, the Institute of the Marist Brothers at present educates and cares for youth in 80 countries, including 20 in Africa. After its closure on this site, Saint Aloysius' Primary School for boys was moved, successively to two different church properties in the City Bowl, until, in 1985, it was finally incorporated into Saint Joseph’s Marist College in Rondebosch.
Presented by the Marist Brothers to the Iziko South African National Gallery in April 2017 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Brothers in the Cape and the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute.
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When the Marist Brothers arrived, they renamed the diocesan establishment St Aloysius and they established a second school, St Joseph’s Academy, in another part of the city.

St Joseph’s Academy closed in 1933 and in the 1960’s the government revealed plans to expropriate the property of St Aloysius to create an annexe to the South African National Gallery.

The school closed in 1970, but the Brothers reopened it at another church property.

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