No. 358 - St Andrew's at Ulverstone - "An Elocutionary Treat"

Scottish migrants began to establish Presbyterian churches in rural north west Tasmania from the 1880’s with the first communities centred around Don and Castra. The Ulverstone church was only built in 1910 although services were previously held in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street and later in the old Congregational church on Alexandra Road. In 1908 the Presbyterians considered purchasing Congregational church but opted instead to build a new church at a site purchased on Main street.

The foundation stone for this church was laid on 18 May 1910 by Senator Colonel Cameron. Substantial progress had already been made with the building at the time of the stone-laying ceremony. The North West Post described the building which was nearing completion:

“The new church, when completed will be a decided acquisition to the architecture of the street and will be of handsome proportions. It measures 40ft by 30ft, and is built with a view of enlargement at some future time. The managers wisely decided that it would be built of brick. The interior of the building is to be fitted and finished with Californian red pine, Tasmanian blackwood and white, …. the windows are Gothic in shape, and will be of cathedral glass". 

The building was completed 6 months later and was dedicated to St Andrew on Wednesday 16th November by the Presbyterian State Moderator, Reverend Stewart Byron. On the Sunday three opening services were led by Reverend William Holt of Launceston which attracted large congregations. The North West Post commented:

“His discourse in the evening was not only powerful, but was an elocutionary treat of no mean order. The church choir is not strong numerically, and acquitted itself in a creditable manner, and the improvement was most marked..”

The provisions made to extend the building were never carried but a wooden Sunday school hall was erected next to the church in 1938. The hall was a former Presbyterian church from Sheffield which had closed in the late 1920’s. [see No. 323]

In the 1970’s the St Andrew’ congregation opted not join the the Uniting Church and remains a mainline Presbyterian denomination in historic continuity with the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

The Sunday school Hall - Previously St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at Sheffield - Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018


North West Post, Thursday 19 May 1910, page 2
The Examiner, Saturday 18 September 1909, page 5
North West Post, Friday 20 May 1910, page 3
North West Post, Thursday 17 November 1910, page 2
The North West Post, Tuesday 22 November 1910,  page 3
Advocate, Thursday 31 October 1935, page 6
Advocate,  Friday 11 March 1938,  page 6


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