No. 1469 - King Island - Currie Methodist Church (1911-1961)

Currie is the main town and administration centre of King Island. In 1866 the ship "Netherby" ran onto rocks off the island and was salvaged by Captain Archibald Currie. The harbour and later the settlement were named in his remembrance.

Reverend Max Stansall’s ‘Tasmanian Methodism’ summarises the origins of the Methodist Church at King Island as follows:

“As much as ninety years after the beginnings of Methodism in Hobart, the work in King Island was just commenced. Actually a young home missionary, C.C. Dugan, who later had a distinguished career as minister and historian, visited the island in 1903. But it was in 1910 that the real beginning was made. Rev. Joseph Penna that year became the first minister appointed to the island”.

Soon after Penna’s arrival the construction of a church began in mid 1911. This was undertaken by volunteer labour under the direction of Mr Will Batton. The church was officially opened on Sunday 24 December 1911. The Launceston Examiner reported:

“On Sunday last the Methodist new church was opened. The Rev Mr. Penna conducted the first service. The Rev. A. T. Holden did not arrive until late in the afternoon on account of the delay to the [ship] Wauchope. Mr. Holden will, in addition to giving several addresses, deliver a lecture on the Japanese. The initial services have been well attended, and the new building, with the aid of Mr Penna’s good work, bids fair to become a popular rendezvous and a very useful adjunct to the well-being of the community”.

The subsequent history of the church is not well recorded but it served the community for exactly 50 years before it was replaced by a modern church in January 1961. The second church, now a Uniting Church, is still in use and will be the focus of a future article on ‘Churches of Tasmania’.

Currie Methodist church. A colourised postcard taken about the time of the church's opening in 1911.


Examiner, Friday 29 December 1911, page 8
King Island News, Wednesday 9 January 1952, page 1

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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