Mother Xavier Flood

On arriving in Australia in 1872 from Ireland, Mother Xavier Flood took up her first appointment at the convent of Mercy, Warrnambool. She remained in the community for about seven years until she was transferred to the Convent of Mercy, Ballarat East.

This remarkable woman's magnetic personality and her sympathetic, warm and tolerant heart, attracted all who met her. Mother Xavier was christened "Gran" by a little motherless child who sensed in her a mother's warmth.

Mother Xavier was a woman of stately appearance, tall and very dignified. Indeed, she was a woman of wide and varied learning who was greatly distinguished as an educationalist.

In the Primary School at St. Alipius, she had a splendidly equipped Kindergarten run according to the then most modern methods. It was Mother Xavier, the first Principal of Sacred Heart College, who raised its level of excellence and applied in 1909 to have it recognised as an Institution for the training of teachers. In 1910, Mother Xavier established what was to be known as Aquinas Training College. The Training College operated at Sacred Heart College and at St. Alipius' School in Victoria Street.

In September, 1919, a wave of the dreaded pneumonic influenza swept over Victoria. Mother Xavier was worn out prematurely by her labours and fell an easy victim to the germ. Though she was ill she went as usual to St. Alipius' School, where the children were practising for a concert. There she collapsed and had to be brought home to the Ballarat East Convent. Mother Xavier was in her 69th year when she died on the 7th of October, 1919.

Xavier House is named after this remarkable woman; one who showed tremendous courage and determination and could never tolerate half-measures.