Bill and Avis Gauld with Neil and Wendy Benson in front of their grandfather and great-grandfather's grave William Gauld, during a working bee at St Mary's Anglican Church at Brooweena for its centenary celebrations.
Bill and Avis Gauld with Neil and Wendy Benson in front of their grandfather and great-grandfather's grave William Gauld, during a working bee at St Mary's Anglican Church at Brooweena for its centenary celebrations.

Historic North Burnett church celebrates centenary

ONE hundred years to the day, St Mary’s Church at Brooweena will celebrate its centenary with a service in the small country church.

To be conducted by Bishop Jeremy Greaves on Saturday, November 2 at 10.30am, the service will include the dedication of a commemorative plaque, planting of a rose bush followed by the cutting of a cake by the oldest and youngest who have been baptised at the church.

Just like the old days, those attending are asked to contribute to a shared picnic lunch.

Church warden Gail Gauld said during the past 100 years, one thing that hasn’t changed is the small church never had electricity connected.

“Parishioners attending Christmas Eve services brought along a torch or lantern for lighting,” she said.

In the early 1900s before the church was built because of the distances and modes of transport, services were held wherever and whenever the minister’s circuit took him.

The community worked long and hard to raise the money needed to build a church through donations, dances, fetes, concerts and sports days.

Elizabeth Thomas donated an acre of land for the purpose of a church and graveyard. Total cost of the building was 748 pounds,12 shillings and nine pence.

Rev James Hardingham was the vicar when the church opened and was dedicated three weeks later by Archbishop Donaldson. The same month Edna May Schultz and Jeffrey Mark Ellis were the first to be christened.

Pride of place behind the pulpit are the stained glass windows dedicated to the memory of parishioners.

The bell in the belltower donated by then Teebar Station owner, Mr D O S Jones originally used to call kanakas to dinner on Eatonvale Sugar Plantation, when owned by John Eaton.

The gazebo was erected in 1995 to the memory of district settlers where a soldiers’ memorial once stood. It had been relocated to a site beside the Woocoo Shire Council chambers in 1962 and later moved to its present position at the museum complex where ANZAC services are now held.

Further enquiries: Gail 4129 9262 or Jill 0407 595 298.


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