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Loreto Normanhurst, North Sydney, was opened in 1897 following the opening of the day school, Loreto Convent Randwick, in 1892 as there was a need for a separate boarding school in rural surroundings. Frank Coffey, parent of two Randwick students, found land in the Hornsby district. On visiting the proposed site for their new school a rainbow appeared over the site and was seen as a sign of heavenly approval.
Sydney architect, Mr. J. Hennessy, prepared the plans for the new school. Sisters and boarders moved from Loreto Randwick into the unfinished convent on 11th October 1897. Mother Dorothea Frizelle was first Superior.
Normanhurst remained primarily a boarding school up until World War II by which time Normanhurst had become a suburb and a day school was viable.