No. 88 - Whitemore Uniting Church - 'The Ladies Committee Saves the Day'

Whitemore is a small rural town near Launceston in Northern Tasmania. The town's land and surrounding rural area was first granted to Richard Dry in the 1830's then sold for farming purposes to William Hingston in 1854. In 1857 Hingston donated land for a Wesleyan chapel that became known as "Whitemoor chapel". This name was taken by the village that grew up around the church.

The original church, known as the 'Whitemoor' chapel was a small timber building. This opened for services on 13 December 1857. The congregation soon outgrew the building and by the early 1860's a new church was planned. The foundation stone for a brick building was laid on 30 November 1864. The stone-laying ceremony was attended by an impressive array of dignitaries, including the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Thomas Gore Browne as well as the President and Secretary of the Australian Wesleyan Jubilee Conference that was being held in Tasmania at the time.

The church was opened in June in the following year and this occasion was a more low key affair.  The ceremony was reported in the Launceston Examiner:

“The new Wesleyan Church, Whitemoor, was opened on Sunday…when appropriate and impressive sermons were preached by Reverend W.A. Quick, President elect of the Australian Wesleyan Conference. On the following day upwards of 250 persons sat down to an elegant and sumptuous luncheon provided by the ladies of the neighbourhood.”

At a meeting following the luncheon, the Reverend Quick addressed the issue of the remaining debt on the building. The outstanding amount of 
£125 had been partly met through donations but it was still short by an amount of £25. Responding to this challenge: 

“A committee of ladies was then appointed, who undertook to do all in their power to raise the required amount. So confident are they of success that the debt is considered virtually cancelled….the ladies were heartily thanked for their kindness”.

The original wooden chapel was relocated behind the new church where it continued to be used as a Sunday school and a State school until 1928. The timber building was again moved in 1909 and in 1928 it was incorporated as part of a new church hall. In 1977 the church became a part of the Uniting Church.



Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

The original 'Whitemoor' Church- Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Examiner Tuesday30 May 1865 

Sources:

Examiner Saturday 3 September 1864
Tasmanian Times Thursday 16 April 1868
Examiner Thursday 22 June 1865

M.E.J Stansall et al.  Tasmanian Methodism 1820-1975

Heazlewood, Ivan C (2007). Sesquicentenary of the Wesleyan Chapel - Whitemoor 





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