The origin of St. John’s School can be traced to an English Churchman who came to the Gold Coast in 1933 from Nigeria where he had been the General Manager of Catholic Schools. He discovered to his dismay in the Gold Coast that the Catholic Church which had been a fountain of education for centuries elsewhere had not catered for Second Cycle Institutions in the country. He therefore, worked tirelessly to found St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast in 1936. This man of vision and courage was the late Archbishop W. T. Porter of Cape Coast.
The Second World War fizzled out all arrangements for overseas financial aid and staffing for other schools and colleges. However, the Government’s Accelerated Education policy of 1951 to cater for the educational needs of Middle School Form 4 leavers after their Primary School Education spurred on the Church to establish a number of Catholic Secondary Schools in the country in 1952. Bishop Herman in Kpando, Volta Region, Opoku Ware in Kumasi, Ashanti and St. John’s in Sekondi-Takoradi, Western Region, were all established by the Church to meet the needs of the numerous Middle School leavers whose future looked quite bleak.
The Government took on the church’s challenge and also established the following schools: Keta Secondary School in the Volta Region, Dormaa Secondary School in the then Ashanti Region and our sister school, Fijai Secondary School, Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region.
St. John’s was founded as a private Secondary School by the Roman Catholic Church on 29 January 1952. It was the first Secondary School to be established in the Western Region and was named after Rev. John Beenker of the SMA Society who shortly after assuming the post became seriously ill and had to return to Holland where he died. Rev. Father Francis Kwamena Buah who was pursuing his postgraduate studies in Cork University Ireland was recalled to head the school. Before his arrival, however, Rev. Father Donelley, SMA, temporarily held the fort.
The school started with three masters, Rev. Father F. K. Buah, Rev. Father Donelley, Mr. John Quansah and 47 students at St. Paul’s Catholic Primary/Middle School, Anaafo Sekondi, in two temporary classrooms.