College Crest, Motto and Song

College Crest and Motto

The College crest is a symbol which signifies and epitomises all that the College means to us and all that it teaches us.

The Laurel Wreath, a symbol of victory, reminds us to give our best in all that we do, so that by living our lives well in this world, we may give a crown of glory in the world to come.

The Eagle, king of birds, ever aspiring to the heights, reminds us to keep our ideals high and our minds ever open to truth and beauty.

The Shield, on which is written our motto, Virtus Vera Nobilitas (Virtue is True Nobility), represents the weapon we must use in the battle of life – the weapon of goodness, in which greatness consists.

The Flaming Heart encircled with thorns speaks to us of the Sacred Heart, to whom our College is dedicated. As with him, so with us, love and sacrifice must be entwined.

The Cross, surmounting all, is the banner under which we fight, and with which we shall conquer.

The Scroll at the base bears the words, SHC Geelong, whose spirit and traditions we hope to faithfully uphold.

Sacred Heart School Song

by Sr Carmel O’Dwyer

Our honour is great to be

Proud students of S.H.C.

Our patron, the Lord himself

Our colours those of his queen

Our motto will guide us for life

Virtus vera nobilitas

With the eagle we must aim high

Then the laurel will be our crown

Our cross is our banner for life

With the Lord we must love one and all

As we are one here at S.H.C.

May we be one in eternity.

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Mercedes Magazine

In 1932, the college proudly proclaimed its first annual magazine and named it Mercedes. The word "merced" means mercy in Spanish and "Mercedes" is the plural.

The college appointed two student editoresses, Sheila O'Loughlin and Ineen Stack. In their introduction they stated: We deemed it a great honour to have been elected joint editoresses of the first Annual edited by the Sacred Heart College.

The 1941 Mercedes was the last one published until the centenary of the college in 1960.

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For Your Guidance

For your Guidance was a small book on etiquette, produced for Mercy secondary schools and was given to students between the years of 1955 and 1968.

It was full of advice, not only within school – how to address the sisters, to never run, to offer to carry sister’s books, to hold the door open for sisters - but outside the school too.

Some of the best advice offered relates to outside the school, such as:

  • Do not go to milk bars in school uniform
  • Do not lay down on the ground in the street
  • If a man passes you on the street, he must pass to the right of you. If he tips his hat you may only nod in assent if he is known to you.
  • If you are invited to visit at a friend’s house, you must not play their piano until you are invited to by the lady of the house.
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In March 1933 Sacred Heart introduced the House System to the College. It was decided there would be three houses, named after St Ignatius of Loyola, St Anthony of Padua and St Bernard of Clairvaux. An assembly was held and members of the sports committee who had been nominated as captains drew for their house names and colours.

LOYOLA red, Captain - Betty Napthine

PADUA green, Captain - Joyce Doran

CLAIRVAUX blue, Captain - Mary Moon

The fourth house, named after St Catherine of SIENA (yellow) was added in 1959.

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This silver ciborium was commissioned by the sisters in 1879. It was crafted by the prominent Geelong silversmith Edward Fischer. Born in Vienna in 1828, Fischer arrived in Victoria in the 1850s and by 1857 had established his business in Geelong. Although demand for his work was initially slow, by the 1860s Fischer's reputation had grown and he began to receive orders for items such as jewellery, tableware and ecclesiastical items as well as presentation pieces. One of the most important commissions for Edward Fischer was for the Melbourne Racing Club. From 1861 when the first Melbourne Cup was run, a trophy made in England had been presented to the Cup winner. With the increase in population and circulation of money created by the gold boom, there was a rise in patriotic feeling and identity and the Melbourne Racing Club decided that a locally made trophy would be more appropriate. In 1865, Fischer received the commission to design and manufacture the first locally produced Melbourne Cup.

With the honour and prestige this commission accorded to Fischer, he received many more requests for trophies from various sporting clubs throughout Geelong. The most significant in regard to his reputation was the commission to produce the Geelong Cup. For more than a decade Fischer designed and produced the Geelong Gold Cup, with shapes varying from richly engraved claret jugs and champagne glasses to more plainly decorated urns. All proved popular with the public.

As well as manufacturing high quality silver and gold items, Fischer's shop also functioned as a watchmaker's shop with "every description of repairing done to all articles which come under the notice of the goldsmith". The public was also invited to inspect his premises and workshop, with the effect that his business became a household name in Geelong. In 1891 however, Fischer sold his business and moved to Melbourne, opening a shop in Collins St with his son Harry. Edward Fischer died in 1911, and by 1904 Harry was running the business solely until 1916.


In 1905, Mother M. Evangelist Doogan, then Superior of the Newtown Convent, commissioned William Tappin of Reid Smart and Tappin to paint and beautify the sanctuary. Tappin engaged Estonian craftsman Jaan (John) Kannuluik to carve and build a a Gothic style high altar of English oak. The Advocate gave a glowing account of the work and claimed "the altar is a veritable triumph of the wood-carvers art". Installed in the altar were six beautiful hand painted oil panels of angels.

The panels were removed from the altar in the 1960s when the altar was remodelled after Vatican II. For more than 50 years it was thought the angels were lost but they had lain hidden on top of an old cupboard on the upper floor of the old Convent.

The angels were found - or chose to be found - the day the Chapel restoration was completed. The angels have been rehung in the newly created narthex outside the Chapel doors.


A Monstrance, sometimes also called ostensorium, in the Roman Catholic church and some other churches, is a vessel in which the eucharistic host is carried in processions and is exposed during certain devotional ceremonies. Both names are derived from Latin words (monstrare and ostendere) that mean “to show.”

First used in France and Germany in the 14th century, when popular devotion to the Blessed Sacrament developed, monstrances were modelled after pyxes or reliquaries, sacred vessels for transporting the host or relics. The host was shown in a glass cylinder mounted on a base and surmounted by some sort of metal crown.

In the 16th century the monstrance took its present shape: a circular pane of glass set in a cross or surrounded with metal rays. The host is placed in a holder called a lunette, which fits into an opening behind the glass.

This monstrance was made in France and given as a gift to the Sisters of Mercy from the pupils of the Sacred Heart Boarding School, and features pressed and cast metal with 17 gem stones.


One of Sacred Heart College’s most beautiful, touching and personal treasures is the original tabernacle key from around 1907. Decorating the trefoil are three women’s rings; a late Victorian wedding ring with six rose cut diamonds, a Victorian dress ring and an Edwardian solitaire diamond ring. The chain and locket hanging from the key are 15ct and there is a garnet in the centre of the heart shaped locket which is inscribed with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The jewellery is believed to have come from a Sister of Mercy, possibly as part of a ‘dowry’ when she entered the convent. Sisters took a vow of poverty and other than their habits and rosaries, had no other personal possessions. These may have been inherited from her mother.

The rings and locket were added to the key about 1920, by T. Gaunt & Co, who had a shop on the corner of the Royal Arcade in Bourke St, Melbourne. Started in 1856 by Thomas Gaunt, who was well known for his chronograph at Flemington, but most famously his clock and figures Gog and Magog which still grace the Royal Arcade. Thomas also made the turret clock that still stands at the former Geelong West Town Hall.

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