History of the Salesian Sisters and Mary Help of Christians

History of Mary Help of Christians School

A Catholic School in Johannesburg South

Our school was established in 1966 by the Salesian Sisters. The attitudes and values we teach are firmly grounded in the traditions of Catholic education.

A tribute to our benefactors


Existing parents’ committee at the time, numerous benefactors and parents over the years are among the people who helped us to become what Mary Help of Christians is today: a fully functional Pre-School & Junior Primary School with the principles and values of the Salesian Spirit of St Don Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello, serving an underprivileged community.

February, 1966

Salesian community starts in Booysens, Johannesburg South

In February 1966, in response to the request from Archbishop Hugh Boyle, Salesian Sisters: Sr Maria Luisa Gombini and Sr Mary Margaret Walsh, arrived in Cape Town and then travelled to Johannesburg to start a new Salesian community in Booysens. The Salesian Fathers based at the Don Bosco Provincial office in Booysens, sold the property across the road from their offices to the Salesian Sisters.

Mary Help of Christians Pre-School opens

The property had an existing house which became the Sisters' convent. The Sisters converted a section of the house into a Pre-School. On 2 April 1966 the Pre-School opened as a Day Nursery and the Sisters welcomed their first six enrolments. By the end of that year 15 children were enrolled.

2 April, 1966

1 March, 1977

New school building opened

In October 1976 building operations for a school building began and the new building was completed early in 1977. The new building consisted of a kitchen, three classrooms, a toilet section, school office, sickbay and a store room. On 1 March 1977 lessons started in the new building. This section of the building houses our present Grade R classrooms. The school now consisted of three sections in the house as well as the three new classrooms accommodating a Junior Section, Middle section and Pre-School section.

Three more classrooms added

In May 1980 a new addition to the school building was completed. Three more classrooms, a new toilet section for children and staff and a store room were built. The school now had six classrooms and all the children were now attending nursery school in the new school building. The school functioned as a Day Care and Crèche until 2009 when the idea of extending the capacity of the school was implemented.

May, 1980

January, 2010

First Grade 1 class opens

During 2009 we applied to the Department of Education for registration as a primary school and were successful. In January 2010 we started the first Grade 1 class and thereafter moved up a grade each year. By January 2012 we were fully operational as a Foundation Phase Primary School from Grade one to Grade Three. A prefabricated classroom had to be erected in 2011 to accommodate the growing number of learners applying to the school.

The Sisters purchase the property next door

The primary school was now set up but there was a growing need for crèche space as more and more parents wanted their children enrolled at the school. In answer to prayers, the house next door to the convent house came up for sale and the owners gave first option to purchase to the Sisters. In August 2012 the Sisters received the keys to the property next door.

August, 2012

January, 2017

Schools 50th Jubilee

Renovations took place during the months of September to December 2012 and in January 2013 we were able to open the doors of the renovated house which consisted of three sections used for classrooms, a kitchen, toilets for the little ones, a store room, and a TV room for the little ones.

The school continues to serve the community and in 2017 we proudly celebrated our 50th Jubilee.