No. 1192 - Bellerive - Cotham Church Hall (1938)

This article is one 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 simple record of these buildings, including those that no longer exist.

Bellerive is a suburb of Greater Hobart located on the Eastern Shore of the Derwent River. The area was originally called Kangaroo Point but in the 1830s this was changed to Bellerive, meaning ‘beautiful shore’.

The 1930s was a period of significant activity for the Catholic Church on the East Shore. In 1935 Father Francis Kent was appointed to the Richmond parochial district, which embraced Bellerive and other centres on the eastern side of the Derwent. In 1936 Corpus Christi ‘church-school' was opened and Mass was held at the school until such time that a church could be built. Another ‘church-school’, St Cuthbert’s, opened at neighbouring Lindisfarne in 1938.

In 1938 a church hall was built at Bellerive to accomodate church and social activities associated with Corpus Christi ‘church-school’. It was named the Cotham Hall in honour of Father James Cotham, a pioneering priest of the Richmond district.

Cotham Hall was opened and blessed by Archbishop Simonds on Sunday 10 April 1938. Also attending the ceremony was the Attorney-General, Mr Eric Ogilvie and Mrs A. G. Ogilvie, wife of the Premier (Mr Albert Ogilvie).

Cotham Hall was described as “the social heartbeat of the parish for many years”. By the 1960s it was used by the local Police Boys’ Club. The hall no longer exists. The date of its demolition is not known.

Cotham Hall, Bellerive. Photo: Archdiocese of Hobart

Mercury, Saturday 9 April 1938


Mercury, Saturday 9 April 1938, page 14
Mercury, Monday 11 April 1938, page 8
Mercury, Monday 11 April 1938, page 10

Southerwood, W. T. Planting a faith : Hobart's Catholic story in word and picture / [by] W. T. Southerwood [Hobart] 1970


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