Reading chair holds special stories

Joan Mulcahy with students from St Mary's Year 5 class at the library.

A new reading chair in the library at St Mary’s Primary School will hold special memories for many students.

The chair is a lasting reminder of a woman who brought great joy to many children through reading.

It is dedicated to Mrs Joan Mulcahy, who was the librarian at St Mary’s for over 25 years.

Grade 5 was treated to a visit by Mrs Mulcahy who was delighted by the new reading chair and took the opportunity to read popular children’s book ”Pig Rebel’ to the students.

From the moment she started reading, a spell fell across the library, everyone in the room could sense that they were part of a very special moment.

The entire Grade 5 class was enthralled, and her reading style is how Mrs Mulcahy has communicated her love of children’s literature throughout her career and beyond.

Mrs Mulcahy’s commitment to St Mary’s Primary School began in 1973 as a volunteer, and later a paid role as librarian.

“I came to the school from Tenterfield as a teacher at first,” she said.

“When I came into the library, I just read to everybody.” 

During this time she was also pivotal in creating a central library at the school, selecting and organising resources that more than met the demands of the changing curriculum.

The task required hours of extra unpaid work but Mrs Mulcahy’s enthusiasm and determination was evident in everything she did.

When it was time to relocate the library and move towards electronic information literacy, she learned computer skills in order to support children and teachers.

Mrs Mulcahy retired from St Mary’s Primary School in 1997 but her legacy of love for reading will be remembered by this special chair in the school library, by students and her family. 

“I’ve got 13 grandchildren and they are all readers,” she said.

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Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.