No. 730 - Lebrina - St Patrick's Catholic Church

Lebrina is a small village situated approximately 10 kilometres north of Lilydale in North East Tasmania. The settlement was earlier know as Hall’s Track before the name Lebrina was adopted when railway station on the North-eastern line was built. Lebrina is derived from an aboriginal word meaning "house" or "hut". Lebrina once had three churches: a Methodist church, an Anglican church dedicated to St Andrew and St Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Reports of the St Patrick’s church published in the region’s newspapers are sparse and I have yet to find a photograph of the building which has long gone. The church opened December 1931 in a building previously used as a Druid’s Hall.

The Ancient Order of Druids, a fraternal society, established a Lodge at Lebrina in 1909 which was named “Dreadnought No. 34”. Fifteen years were to pass before the Druids built a hall in the township. In July 1925 Launceston’s Examiner reported on the opening of Lebrina’s new Druid’s Hall:

“The new building for Dreadnought Lodge, No. 34, branch of the Druids has just been erected by Mr. Rundle, Jun. It is not a large structure, but is beautifully designed, occupies a very prominent position, and adds considerably to the architectural pretensions of the little town. The formal opening took place a few evenings ago, when the Grand Secretary, Bro. Geo. Shields, Past President, Bro. Conder, and the Grand Treasurer, Bro. Gough, congratulated their local brethren on their possession of such a desirable lodge-room, and complimented the builders on their fine work….”.

For reasons which are unclear, the Lodge operated for only 5 years after its opening. In 1931 the hall was purchased by the Catholic church and converted into a place of worship. The church was dedicated to St Patrick and was officially opened on Sunday 20 December 1931.

While their appears to be no surviving description of the church’s opening, a brief report appeared in the Examiner in the following year:

“A mild Catholic revival has set in at Lebrina, thanks to the ministrations of Father O’Flynn (Redemptionist Brother) and Father Scarfe, of Launceston. The little church was recently dedicated by Dean Hennessey, of Launceston…The beautiful and chaste altar painting depicts Angelic juveniles, and is the work of Sister Dominica, of the Karoola Convent. The services were largely attended by the local adherents, and Masses were held daily….”.


In the 1960’s St Patrick’s closed and the church was sold and removed to be used as a Sunday School for St Andrew’s Church of England.  Later it was again sold and moved to a local farming property for use as a shearing shed.  When the farm was purchased for forestry purposes all of the buildings, including the church, were demolished. This brought to an end a story that began in 1909 with the establishment of Lebrina’s United Ancient Order of Druids.

Additional information about St Patrick’s is welcomed as all articles will be updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: <Churches of Tasmania>


The only known photograph of St Patrick's.  Image kindly supplied by Katherine Hawes (source not identified on the clipping)
St Patrick's being removed from st Andrew's grounds to begin its life as a shearing shed. Photograph kindly provided by Bev and Jim Sutcliffe.

A lapel pin of the Lebrina branch of the U.A.O.D. - photograph kindly supplied by Fran Williams


A photograph of Lebrina that appeared in the Tasmanian Mail in 1909, before the Druid's Hall was built. The building at the right (background) is Keogh's Hall.

A notice appearing in The Examiner, 17 December 1931


Special thanks to: Katherine Hawes; Fran Williams; Helen Pratt; Bev and Jim Suttcliffe; Shirley Jones; Frances Russon; and others, who contributed photographs and information for an update of this article.

Sources:

Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 4 August 1909, page 7
The Tasmanian Mail, April 24 1909, page 19
Examiner, Thursday 30 July 1925, page 8
The Examiner, Thursday 17 December 1931, page 5
The Examiner, Saturday 19 November 1932, page 8








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