No. 1120 - King Island - Yambacoona - Uniting Church (1971)

Yambacoona is a small settlement on King Island approximately 30 kilometres north of Currie. It was an area used by the government to settle returned soldiers after World War I. The land proved unproductive and most of the farms were not successful. The settlement's name is probably taken from a ship, the Yambacoona, which was owned by the firm of Stephenson and Gunn and brought Mr and Mrs Andrew Miller and family to the island in 1901

Yambacoona’s only church is a former Methodist church that was removed from Loorana in 1971. The history of the church at Loorana can be read here: [No. 1111]

Loorana’s Methodist Church was reopened at Yambacoona on Sunday 12 December 1971. The event was covered in some detail by the local newspaper, ‘King Island News’. Most of this report is reproduced as follows:

“In the absence of the Chairman of the Tasmanian Methodist District, the Rev. H. B. Freeman, M.A., the Minister of the King Island Circuit, the Rev. R. L. Lovell officiated. The little Church was packed with people who had gathered for the historic occasion….Prior to the service and entering the Church, there was a short ceremony outside when Mr. H. Sizer, a Loorana Trustee, handed the key of the building to Mrs. W. Johnson, Congregational Representative and Trustee at Yambacoona. The Rev. Lovell then opened the door and invited the assembled gathering to enter the Church”.

“Prior to the rededication, the Minister gave a brief summary of events leading up to the opening. It was as follows:— The first services at Yambacoona were held in various homes and the school, others were in homes in the Egg Lagoon area. The record shows that services were held at Yambacoona early as 1911. The name of Mrs. Grave is mentioned, and in 1912, that Mr. H. Grave was appointed as Church Steward for the North Services”.

“As the years rolled on, plans were made to provide a building for worship, and with this in view, a piece of land was given by Mr. Harry Lack in 1958. Mr. Lack, with E. J. Grave, C. Conn, W. Vellekoop and Mrs. Gwen Grave, became the first trustees. During the ministry of the Rev. P. Moonie, the North people made a special effort to raise funds for the building of a place of worship. Thus matters stood until this year….”.

“Last year the Trustees offered the building to the Yambacoona people, and so this year a small but enthusiastic band got together, and things began to move. Fences were erected, foundations were put down, and due to the hard work and generosity of Mr. Wilfred Stellmaker and Mr. Reg Coates, the building was moved to its present site,…Mr. Lovell said that the effort was not yet complete, for there were improvements to be made to the outside and inside of the building…”.


After 1975 the Yambacoona church was shared with the Anglicans who had previously held services in the Soldiers Memorial Hall. In 1977 the church became a part of the Uniting Church.

Services have ceased for some years and the building was put up for sale in 2022.


Yambacoona Uniting Church - Photograph: Harcourts King Island

Yambacoona Uniting Church - Photograph: Harcourts King Island

Yambacoona Uniting Church - Photograph: Harcourts King Island


Sources:

King Island News, Wednesday 22 December 1971, page 11

Hooper, R. H.  The King Island story / R.H. Hooper  Fullers Bookshop Hobart  1980

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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