No. 214 - St Andrew's at Legerwood - "A Feast of Good Things"

Writing in August 1919, the correspondent for the North Eastern Advertiser described the township of ‘Ringarooma Road’ which had recently been renamed Legerwood:

"An amphitheatre of tree-clad hills, wooded to the very summits, with some of Tasmania's typically fine sawmill timber, with the bold denuded peak of Mt Victoria keeping sentinel over the ranges of lesser mountains and hills, an area of partially cleared country with giant trees still standing or innumerable trunks on much of the ground, and in the midst of this noble hill setting a new, cosy little town nestling around the railway station and sawmill; that is the first impression one gains of the picturesque little town of Legerwood, which is a new name given old Ringarooma Road. The name, of course, is taken from the famous Legerwood estate so long connected with the Scott family, one of the very earliest to settle in this part of Tasmania. One was informed that the alteration was made because of the confusion brought about in mail delivery because of the similarity in name with the sister town of Ringarooma, and those responsible for the change of cognomen are to be complimented on their good sense. Some two years have elapsed since the writer last saw Legerwood, which then consisted of the railway station, sawmill, hotel, and a very few private houses. But the hand of progress has been steadily at work, and during that time a score or so of nice residences have been erected, … not forgetting the commodious Presbyterian Church, which is an ornament to the town and bespeaks the usual Scotch energy and thoroughness characteristic of the nation…”

Plans for a Presbyterian church had been in the making since 1905 but these were only realised in the dying days of the Great War. The war had a deep impact on this small community and the sacrifices made are reflected in the very fabric of the church. The opening ceremony was reported in the North Eastern Advertiser:

“Sunday, August 18, will long linger in the memory of the people of Ringarooma Road. The opening of the new Church brought a feast of good things to the large number of people who assembled at both services. The Rev. A. D. Leckie, Director of Home Missions conducted both services, … The Church which has been named St Andrew's, was dedicated to God in a most beautiful and impressive ceremony, the congregation standing.  The Church, which stands in a beautiful position, is 36 x 20, painted cream outside and [has a ] red roof. Inside the whole building is stained, and the grain of many kinds of wood stands out very effectively… The building… was erected by Mr F. Jennings, …

The congregation have received many very fine gifts, as follows: — Block of land, presented by Mrs B. Scott; Pulpit, presented by Mr Jennings in memory of Private J. MacDougall ; Communion Table, presented by Mrs J. Andrews ; Collection Plates of  beautiful design and inscribed in memory of Adam Andrews and Robert MacDougall, were presented by Mrs J.L. Andrews and Mrs D. MacDougall. Mr B. Scott presented the Hymn Books required, and a friend from Scottsdale gave a large Pulpit Bible.

The opening services were continued at 7 in the evening, when Rev. D. Leckie again delivered an inspiring address to a crowded gathering. In the obtaining of this very beautiful addition to Ringarooma Road, much credit is reflected on Mrs R. Scott, the enthusiastic honorary secretary, and the very fine committee who have worked hand in hand to bring about this very successful result”.


After the evening service Reverend Leckie performed the ceremony of unveiling the ‘Honor Roll’.



The following names were listed:

Alan R. Andrews (killed)
Roy N. Andrews (prisoner)
Basil Blair (wounded)
A. Fair (wounded)
J. Fair (wounded)
R. Fair (killed)
J. Kidd (wounded)
W.J. MacDougall (wounded)
F.R. MacDougall (wounded)
J. N. MacDougall (killed)
R. MacDougall (killed)
W. McIlroy (killed)
J. Risely (killed)
Alan L. Wardlaw (wounded)

The Church Today

St Andrew’s became part of the Uniting Church in the 1970’s and continued to hold services until it was sold in August 2010. It is now a private residence. The Honour Roll is now located in the Legerwood Public Hall but the location of memorial pulpit and communion table is not known.


The Legerwood Carvings


Throughout Australia, avenues of trees were planted to honour those who had lost their lives during World War One. One such avenue was once found at Legerwood. In October 1918, the families of fallen soldiers planted trees along the main street of town. However, more than 80 years later the trees were deemed dangerous but instead of being chopped down they were carved into memorials to the men who had served and died in the Great War.

LINK  To an article on the Legerwood carvings.

LINK  To the Legerwood Honour Board.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Real Estate photograph before the conversion of the church into a house. (Roberts Real Estate)

Real Estate photograph before the conversion of the church into a house. (Roberts Real Estate)
The Legerwood Carvings


Photograph: Duncan Grant 2013

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2013

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2013


Sources:

The Examiner, Thursday 23 November 1905, page 6
The Daily Telegraph, Monday 17 June 1918, page 8
North-Eastern Advertiser, Tuesday 20 August 1918, page 3
North-Eastern Advertiser, Friday 1 August 1919, page 3

https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5297845/north-east-town-legerwood-carved-its-history-into-wood/

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