No. 1439 - Launceston - Holy Trinity Sunday School (1898)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches. These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and rarely feature in published histories. My aim is to create a simple record of these buildings, including those that no longer exist.

Situated on Cameron Street, in the shadow of the magnificent Holy Trinity church, lies the almost forgotten Holy Trinity Sunday school. The hall replaced a much older building which had been designed as a Wesleyan Methodist chapel and built in 1826. The chapel was later purchased by the government for use as a school before it was acquired by the ‘Church of England’ for use as a Sunday school and church hall. Holy Trinity school was also the birthplace of the Launceston Mechanics’ Institute established in 1842.

In 1898 the old “Trinity school” was demolished to make way for the new church. The foundation stone for the Sunday school was laid on Wednesday 19 October 1898. The Launceston Examiner published the following report of the occasion:

“The ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the Holy Trinity Sunday-school, which is to be erected near the new church, was performed yesterday afternoon. Owing to the heavy rain which fell at the appointed hour the customary service was held in the church. There was a moderate attendance, including a fair muster of Sunday-school children”.

“The Ven. Archdeacon Hales, Revs. W. Harry Edwardes, and E. G. Barry (the newly appointed curate) were the ministers present. At 4 o’clock Mr. Alfred Green, secretary to the school, accompanied by the church wardens, proceeded to the site of the new building and laid the foundation stone. Mr. Green used a handsome silver trowel, which was inscribed as follows:-"Presented to Mr. Alfred Green on his laying the foundation stone of Holy Trinity Sunday-school, Launceston, October 19, 1898, as a memento of his 50 years connection with the school." Mr. Green, it may be mentioned, entered the school on August 21, 1842, became a teacher on January 9, 1853, and was appointed secretary in July, 1870, which position he has filled ever since”.

“This part of the proceedings having been concluded, Mr. Green and the wardens entered the church, where a short service was conducted by the Rev. Barry. The Ven. Archdeacon Hales then addressed those present, and said he was pleased to see such a good gathering of children, which showed that they took an interest in their work. The Sunday-school, was the cradle of the church, and he impressed upon them the necessity of paying strict attention to all they were taught in the school. which was to fit them for future work in the church… A collection was then taken up, and the sum of £28 10s 6d was given. The singing of a hymn and the pronouncing of the benediction concluded the ceremony”.


The new school hall, designed by Alexander North, was completed in December 1898, some four years before the new Holy Trinity church opened in 1902. The hall is now used as commercial premises.

The Holy Trinity Sunday School on Cameron Street







The old Holy Trinity Church with the old Sunday school (Wesleyan Chapel) on the right. Further to the right of the school is the old Methodist parsonage which was became the verger's cottage. Source: A detail of a photograph from the QVMAG collection (QMV:1983:P:1196)



The old Sunday school/Wesleyan Chapel is on the far left of the photo and the parsonage/vergers cottage is on the right. The building was used as a day school. Photo: QVMAG collection  (QVM-1991-P-0107) 

The opening of the new Holy Trinity Church in 1902. The vergers cottage is still standing and a portion of the new Sunday school is visible on the right. Photo: Libraries Tasmania online collection - item no. LPIC147-2-201.



Sources:

Launceston Examiner, Wednesday 9 February 1898, page 5
Launceston Examiner, Saturday 26 February 1898, page 12
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 20 October 1898, page 2
Launceston Examiner, Thursday 20 October 1898, page 5
Launceston Examiner, Wednesday 14 December 1898, page 5


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