No. 1187 - Stanley - St Paul's Anglican Parish Hall and Sunday School (c.1890)

This article is another in a series about buildings associated with some of Tasmania’s most significant churches. These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and are rarely featured in published histories. My aim is to create a basic record of some of the most significant buildings, including those which no longer exist.

Stanley’s first Anglican church was a stone building which was opened in 1847. Due to problems with the church’s foundations the building was demolished and replaced by a weatherboard building in 1888. A hall for use as a Sunday school as well as for parish meetings was built alongside the new church.

St Paul’s Parish Hall and Sunday school is now the premises of the Stanley Discovery Museum. The building presents a bit of a mystery due to some uncertainty about its age. It is thought that the hall was built in 1902 but it may have been operating a decade earlier. There are no surviving records of the Sunday school’s construction or opening, however there are several references to St Paul’s schoolroom during the 1890s.

My research reveals that it is likely that the schoolroom was built in 1889 and opened in early 1890. In February 1890 the Daily Telegraph reported that Bishop Montgomery made a visit to Stanley in late January. While at Circular Head the Bishop visited “Stanley and Forest State schools” as well as St Paul’s parsonage. The report goes on to mention that the Bishop replied to an address “which was presented in the new Sunday school-room”. No further mention of the building is made. The records of the annual meeting of the Anglican Synod from this period make no mention of the hall.

Historical records of the North West from this era are patchy but a search of the Anglican Church’s archives might reveal the true age of St Paul’s Sunday school.



Sources:

Daily Telegraph, Thursday 6 February 1890, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 31 October 1896, page 8
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 13 February 1899, page 3
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Friday 16 February 1900, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 5 March 1900, page 4



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