In 1938 St. Mary’s Girls’ College which was situated in the premises of Grand Street Church
was brought to the present place by Rev. Sr. Annunciata from the Good Shepherd Order, with
the consent of the superior Rev Mother Solange.This was done with the assistance of Rev. Fr.Cazugue,
the Parish Priest of Grand Street Church due to the increase of the number of pupils and the lack of
space for expansion. At the time there were only three hundred students and twenty teachers.
The number increased by leaps and bounds and the school was then divided into four houses namely Andrew,
Coudert, Masson and Solange.
The Teachers decided to name the School ‘Ave Maria Convent’. “Ave Maria were the words addressed
to our Blessed Mother Mary, by the Arch-Angel Gabriel at the annunciation, from which is
derived the name Annunciata. So the principal, Sr. Mary Annunciata who did so much for Ave
Maria, will always be remembered and the day of the Annunciation, 25th March was named the
School Feast Day.
Later the attendance which has been increasing rose to about 2000 and
the staff 65 strong and Ave Maria was made an A Grade School. In December 1959 when the schools
were taken over, Ave Maria which was a grant in –aid school became a private school with the consent
of the parents.
Sweat and toil, dedication and generosity of the Good Shepherd nuns and our dear people,
have built up this little town- ship called Ave Maria Convent. There was an era of hard struggle
for the management to go on. Yet they did not want the school to be handed over. Once Rev Mother
Margrette Mary (Good Shepherd Order) and the second time the Welfare Board saved the school.
It bloomed further and the demand for the admission was high. So in order to furnish more students
the Branch school was opened at Akkarapanaha on 10th Jan 1999. The first principal was sister Nilani
Silva(Good Shepherd order) and she raised the school to high standards.
Another hallmark in the history of Ave Maria- During the
reign of Rev Sr. Francine Muthugala(Good Shepherd Order) in 2012 a full fledged auditorium
which has a seating capacity more than 1500 was erected making it one of the best in the island.