No. 1476 - Currie - St Joseph's Convent and Chapel (1963)

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.

In 1913 the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart began a permanent ministry on King Island. Masses were mostly held in the Methodist Church. Father Goodman oversaw the construction of the first Catholic church which opened in April 1914.

The Presentation Sisters ministered on the island from 1963 until 1999. The Presentation Sisters, officially the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are a religious institute of Roman Catholic women founded in Cork, Ireland, by the Venerable Honora "Nano" Nagle in 1775.

In the same year the Sisters arrived at King Island a convent, which included a small chapel, was built next to Star of the Sea Catholic church.

The official opening of St Joseph’s Convent in April 1963 was recorded by the King Island News:

“ The St. Joseph's Presentation Convent at Currie was officially opened and blessed by the Archbishop of Hobart (the Most Rev. Dr. G. Young) on Saturday, 20th April. The new building, which is situated next to the Catholic Church at the corner of Main and Hickmott Streets in Currie, cost about £7000 to build. Mr. A. J. Richardson was the contractor.

Dr. Young and 35 prominent members of the Roman Catholic laiety travelled to King Island especially for the occasion on a chartered Ansett-A.N.A. DC3 aircraft. The new convent contains 10 rooms, including a music room, chapel, community room and a number of bedrooms to accommodate visiting Presentation Sisters…. More than 200 Catholic children attend schools on King Island, and the two sisters travel to the schools to give religious instruction. They also give music lessons at the convent and at two of the schools”.

According to Catholic Church history Terry Southerwood, the Presentation nuns were probably the first in the world to be permitted to give themselves Holy Communion from the tabernacle in their chapel. 

I have yet to find a clear photograph of the convent and the chapel. The partial image of the convent used in this article is found in 'Planting a Faith in Tasmania'.

Photograph: Planting a Faith in Tasmania

King Island News


King Island News, Wednesday 1 May 1963, page 1
Tasmanian Catholic Vol. 9 Issue 5 2013, page 10

Southerwood, W. T Planting a faith in Tasmania : the country parishes. [W. T. Southerwood], [Hobart], 1977.


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