No. 654 - Yolla Baptist Church

Yolla is small rural town on the Murchison Highway approximately 20 kilometres south of Wynyard. When first settled in the late 19th century it was named Camp Creek but this was changed to Yolla in 1906. The name is derived from an Aboriginal word for muttonbird.

Baptist services were first held in the home of Mr Daniel Smith of Sea View farm and also at the Yolla State school when the Baptist “parson visited periodically”. In 1909 land was purchased by Daniel Smith to build a church.  On Wednesday 4 May 1910 construction began with the laying of two foundation stones, one by Reverend F. J. Dunkley and the other by Daniel Smith.

Within a matter of months the building was completed and officially opened on Sunday 28 August. The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times reported the opening and the celebrations which followed:

“The new Baptist Church was opened at Yolla by the Rev. F. J. Dunkley, of Longford. The church was crowded both afternoon and evening, many visitors coming from Burnie and Wynyard…. On Monday a splendid dinner was served in Messrs. Beaumont and Company's storeroom, which was transformed into a place of beauty by decorations and flags….During the afternoon a photograph was taken of the church and people, and games were afterwards indulged in. At 6 p.m., tea was served, and ample justice was done to all the good things by some 200 persons. At 8 p.m. a concert was held in the new church…and it was midnight before there was any noticeable decrease in the assembled crowd…”.

Families associated with church in its early years included: Smith, Murfett, Holloway, Diprose, Rattray, Dicker, Crisp, Langham and many others. The Yolla Baptist community had strong ties with the nearby Baptist community at Henrietta and also at Oonah and Takone.

Over the next century the church grew and thrived. In 1921 a house was purchased for use as a manse and this was replaced when a new manse was built in 1956. Major renovation to the church took place in the early 1990’s but the building has outwardly changed little since it opened 110 years ago. Of the five churches established at Yolla, only the Baptist and Catholic churches remain.

Photograph - Duncan Grant (2019)

Photograph - Duncan Grant (2019)

The interior of the church (undated) Source: LibrariesTasmania PH30-1-5345

An early undated photograph of the church - source: Libraries Tasmania PH30-1-5355

Notice of the first opening service (North Western Advocate)

The photograph referred to in the report of the North Western Advocate - taken on Monday 29 August 1910 - source: Advance (Tasmanian Baptist Magazine) April 2019

The photograph referred to in the report of the North Western Advocate - taken on Monday 29 August 1910 - source: Advance (Tasmanian Baptist Magazine) April 2019

Sources:

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 11 January 1909, page 1
Examiner, Monday 16 August 1909, page 6
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Wednesday 11 May 1910, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Tuesday 23 August 1910, page 3
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 5 September 1910, page 2
Examiner, Thursday 8 September 1910, page 7

Advance, Tasmanian Baptists, April 2019, pages  4-5.

Smith, Bessie. and Pegus, Margaret.  Yolla : the first century / by Bessie Smith & Margaret Pegus ; foreword by Kerrie Pink  B. Smith [Wynyard, Tas.]  1993

Rowston, Laurence F.  God's country training ground : a history of the Yolla Baptist Church 1910-2010 / Laurence F. Rowston  Baptist Union of Tasmania, and Yolla Baptist Church Yolla, [Tas.]  2010

Hemsley, Jennifer Around the country circuits : reminiscences of the Baptist Church family throughout "Tassie's top half". Regal Press, Launceston, Tas, 1996.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

No. 988 - North Hobart - The "King Street" Church and School

No. 990 - Hobart - St Mary's Cathedral (Part 1) - "The Wild Vines of Tasmania"

No. 606 - Upper Castra - Uniting (Methodist) Church (1908-1989)