Playground Names

Our playgrounds and the hall are given names that reflect St Finbar’s history.


The ‘THOMAS SHERRY’ Playground
In June 1848, Thomas Sherry aged 29 accompanied by his wife Eliza, became the first teacher of St Finbar’s school (then known as St Patrick’s). This was his first teaching appointment. Previously he had been employed as a printer. In the middle of 1851, Thomas Sherry resigned and it is thought he left to fossick for gold.

The Thomas Sherry playground is located in the area close to Nepean highway and St Finbar’s Hall building. In 2021, this area was redeveloped as an adventure playground, as well as a place where children can enjoy creative play.


The ‘MARY CLARE’ Playground
Anna Maria Conroy entered the Presentation Convent at Elsternwick on 21 November, 1884 at the age of 20. She took the name of Sr Mary Clare.  In 1924, at the age of about 60, she opened the new school of St Finbar’s at East Brighton and was head teacher until 1931. From 1932, Sr Mary Clare lived at Star of the Sea until her death on 3 January, 1947 at the age of 82 years.The Mary Clare playground is located at the rear of St Finbar’s School adjacent to the  administration and classroom buildings.  This area is for children to play big ball games and enjoy a quiet grassed space. 


The ‘JOHN ASHE’ Playground
Fr John Ashe was ordained at All Hallows, Church, Ireland in 1928 and later that year came to Melbourne. In 1940, he became Parish Priest at St Finbar’s East Brighton.  He died in 1981.The John Ashe playground is located at the front of St Finbar’s School parallel to Centre Rd. In 2009, it was set up as a Sustainable garden where children enjoy planting seasonal vegetables, looking after the school chickens and creative play within the different areas of the garden.


The Fr Lou Herriot Hall is named after our previous Parish Priest who retired in 2009. Following his ordination, Fr Lou served as Assistant Priest at Healesville (1951), Sunshine (1952-1957), St Patrick’s Cathedral (1957), Footscray (1959-1962), Collingwood and the Marriage Guidance Centre (1962-1964), Administrator of Daylesford (1964), and then as Parish Priest at Blackburn North (1966-1969), Melbourne South (1969-1973), Bentleigh East (1973-1993), Brighton East (1993-2009) retiring as Pastor Emeritus in 2009. Fr Lou was Parish Priest at St Finbar’s for 18 Years.  He died on Good Friday, 18 April, 2014, at the age of 87.

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