No. 1035 - Lower Mount Hicks Methodist Church (1890-1972)

Lower Mount Hicks is a rural settlement situated approximately 10 kilometres south of Wynyard. Two churches were built in the greater Mount Hicks district; a Methodist church that opened in the 1890s and a Gospel Chapel which was established in the 1950s. Both churches have closed.

Methodists services began at Mount Hicks in the 1880s which led to the construction of a church on what is now the Old Mount Hicks Road in the vicinity of the cemetery. I have not yet located a photograph of the building.

The opening of the church took place on Sunday 14 December 1890. The occasion was reported by the Launceston Examiner and also the Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette:

“The new Methodist Free Church was opened on Sunday morning last by the Rev. W. H. Bowe, who conducted the service; the Rev. T. Ellis preaching in the afternoon; both services being well attended. The church is a weatherboard building, 18ft by 25ft, and has been erected on ground kindly given by Mr W. Hyland, though the building is not quite completed, yet everyone so far is highly satisfied with the work, and expressed themselves highly pleased with Mr W. Peart, the contractor”.

“The opening festival was held on Tuesday, when there was a large gathering of visitors from all parts. A sumptuous dinner was provided from 1 to 4 p.m. and after that a substantial tea, to both of which full justice was done. The good things for the dinner and tea were most kindly provided by Mesdames Hyland, Gardiner (5), Hazlewood, Dennison (2), Smart, Lowry, Astel, Ford, and others, the young ladies of these families attending to the wants of all the visitors in the most kind manner. The proceeds amounted to £15”.

“In the afternoon a cricket match was played between the Mount Hicks and Wynyard elevens, the latter proving victorious. Various other sports usual at such gatherings were also indulged in. In the evening a public meeting was held, Mr C. J. Mackenzie, M. H.A., taking the chair Mr Tas. Duniam read a report which showed that the expenditure had been about £50, and that donations and the proceeds of the opening ceremonies would meet all expenses and leave a small balance in hand, which would go towards completing the fittings…”.


Records of the church are not extensive. In 1946 there were discussions about moving the church to a more central location but this seems to have been abandoned. According to Reverend Max Stansall (Tasmanian Methodism 1820-1975) the cemetery was established soon after the church’s opening. The Hylands and the Gardners were amongst the church’s founding families.

In 1940 services were reduced to one per fortnight. In 1972 it was decided to sell the building and with the congregation continuing worship at either Yolla or Wynyard.

I am hopeful that a photograph of the church exists and that the publication of this short history might result in one coming to light.

 Mount Hicks Cemetery which was established soon after the Methodist church opened in 1890. Photo credit: Keith Harrison - Findagrave.com

Mr. Tasman Duniam's farm at Mount Hicks. Duniam was secretary of of the church's building fund. Photo source: Weekly Courier 1912.

Sources:

Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette, Saturday 20 December 1890, page 3

Launceston Examiner, Monday 22 December 1890, page 3

Weekly Courier, 27 June 1912.

Advocate, Saturday 2 February 1946, page 4

Stansall, M. E. J. and Methodist Church of Australasia. Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 / [by M.E.J. Stansall ... et al] Methodist Church of Australasia Launceston, Tas 1975




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