Marist Education began in North Sydney on July 2, 1888. Since that time, the school we now call Marist College North Shore has experienced significant change and development. Initially, it was established as a small two-room school in Ridge Street; the current site of St. Mary’s Primary School. It opened with sixty-five students and a staff of three Marist Brothers. It was the fourth school opened by the Brothers in Australia after Church Hill (1872), Parramatta (1875) and Hunters Hill (1881). The first Headmaster was Br. Walter Moore who gave the school an excellent beginning and a firm foundation on which to build.
The school met a felt need in the area and its enrolments grew to the point where a larger site and more classrooms were required. In 1916, with enrolments in excess of three hundred, the school was moved to a neighbouring site in Carlow Street. Here, the former Mark Foy’s Furniture Repository, which had been purchased by Parish Priest Fr. Cornish SJ, was converted into classrooms and a Hall known as Manresa Hall. Marist Brothers High School North Sydney continued to expand in numbers and obtained a name for academic, cultural and sporting excellence. During these years the school catered for the educational needs of boys from Primary through to Intermediate (Year 10) level. It’s motto, “Esse Non Videri”, translated as “to be, not to seem”, captured the essence of the school as it sought to form boys into good Christians and responsible citizens.
The final transformation occurred in 1965 when a re-organisation of education occurred in New South Wales. The reforms introduced under the Wyndham Scheme led to the amalgamation of Marist Brothers Mosman and Marist Brothers North Sydney to form a full Years Seven to Twelve secondary school, Marist College North Shore. The colours ‘blue black and gold’ were adopted, as was the Mosman motto of “Virtus Ubique Vincit” – “Courage Conquers All”. From this time development accelerated, and a series of building programmes were begun to provide for the contemporary educational needs of the students.