No. 442 - St George's at Parattah

The township of Parattah was established when the ‘Main Line’ railway was built between Launceston and Hobart. First named ‘Oatlands Railway Station’, Parattah is situated 7 Km southeast of Oatlands. It was renamed Parattah in 1879 by the Oatlands Council which is an aboriginal word meaning "ice and cold". There were three religious denominations established at Parattah: Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic.

St George’s was the second church built at Parattah with the foundation stone for the building laid on 6 February 1903. The short-lived Midlands News reported on the ceremony at great length, parts of which are reproduced here:


“The foundation stone of the new Anglican Church was laid on Friday… by Bishop Mercer. The function was commenced by a procession from the Jubilee Hall; the Sunday-school children with their superintendents leading, followed by the members of the church and the churchwardens, the Rev. J. A. Priestley carrying the bishops staff, and Bishop Mercer coming last".

"The site of the new building has been given by Mr. Burbury, member for the district, and is situated on the main street about a quarter of a mile from the railway station. The assemblage formed around the stone, and the Bishop read the service, the Oatlands choir rendering the music, led by Mr. Parsons who also presided at the organ".

"The service was very impressive. Some devotional exercises followed, and then the Bishop gave an address, emphasising the influence of the church for good, and the necessity for the presence of an unseen affection in the life of all men. … After the conclusion of the ceremony all were invited to place the usual offerings, upon the stone. Total of donations amounting in all to £20 14s. 9d. The amount of the building fund in hand up to date amounts to about £190, and it is hoped the building will be opened free of debt by next Easter…."


The church was completed in early 1904 and was dedicated in late September with Bishop Mercer visiting Parattah once again. The ceremony was described by the correspondent for Launceston’s Daily Telegraph:

“The Bishop of Tasmania was driven from Oatlands by Rev. J. A. Priestleyon Tuesday, arriving about 2.30 p.m., for the purpose of dedicating the newly built church to St. George. The little edifice was simply packed. A full choral service was well rendered by the Oatlands choir, which had journeyed here in one of Tremaine’s buses. The Bishop delivered a fervent and eloquent sermon, the offertory reaching the handsome amount of £7. In the evening a welcome social was held in the public hall, and a good programme of musical and other items was well rendered, when the Bishop gave his popular lecture on "Social Equality,” which afforded unqualified gratification….The Bishop seemed to enter into all the events with enthusiasm, and expressed his great delight with the double function of Monday and Tuesday….”

St George’s did not quite reach its centenary with services ceasing in the 1990’s and the building was sold in 2004. It was in a poor condition at the time of its sale but it has been subsequently restored and is now a house.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

St George's before it was restored - real estate photographs from 2004:

Source:http://house.speakingsame.com/

Source:http://house.speakingsame.com/

Source:http://house.speakingsame.com/

Source:http://house.speakingsame.com/

Weekly Courier 1 April 1905

Weekly Courier 1 April 1905


Sources:


Mercury, Saturday 7 February 1903, page 6
Midland News, Saturday 14 February 1903, page 4
Daily Telegraph, Monday 3 October 1904, page 6
Midlands News, Saturday 24 October 1904, page 4
Examiner, Thursday 6 October 1904, page 2
The Weekly Courier, Saturday 1 April 1905, page 22

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.

http://house.speakingsame.com/

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