The Rajah Quilt

The Rajah Quilt

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Centenary Celebrations for St Brigid's Catholic Church Wynyard

When I first contacted the church about taking photos of the window for the Female Convict's Research Group, I was invited to the centenary celebrations, as a person with a connection to Bridget Brewster, nee Cassidy (see previous post).

St Brigids in 1912 - photo from State Library of Tasmania
Saturday October 13th 2012 was the day of celebration for the 100th anniversary of St Brigid's church in Wynyard.  The iconic new church was opened in 1912, and replaced the nearby wooden church built in 1876.
When Archbishop Patrick Delaney travelled from Hobart to Wynyard to lay the foundation stone on May 28, 1911, he saw the plans and said it was far too large and grandiose, and made Father T. J. O'Donnell move the stone 6 m (20 feet).  After the Archbishop departed, Father T. J. moved the stone back to it's original position.
The  O'Neill family provided the iron, and together with the Brewster family donated the original altar for the new church.


Interior of St Brigids, Archbishop Adrian Doyle

The church shares design features with Westminster Cathedral in London, completed in 1903. The design of red brick with light bands is known colloquially as 'blood and bandages'.

Westminster Cathedral, London 2004

Westminster Cathedral Precint, London, 2004


We were told that the dress for the celebration would be in the style of 1912.  We decided to make a day of it with the Tulip Festival on the same day, and wore our costumes out for the afternoon

A bus load of international students arrived at the tulip farm, just after we did.  I'm sure they thought we were part of the day's attraction :)

I'm sure I had my photograph taken with most of this group :)

We also visited the 'Wonders of Wynyard' exhibition of vintage transport, and I discovered another treasure, a Singer No. 3 treadle.




With a little time to fill in, we 'visited' Bridget and Thomas, who are buried at the old general cemetery, Jenner St, Wynyard.

Returning to town for the mass at 5 p.m. we sat next to Bridget's window.
Since this journey of discovery began, I have been contacted by 3 descendants of Bridget and Thomas, and it's to them that I dedicate this post.