Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Holy Cross Church

(Random walkies)

Bugger all walking done this last few days. It's been raining a fair bit. Been a bit crook. Laid on the sofa listening to the weather all weekend. Feeling pretty smug about the new sofa. The guy was so busy trying to con me for a double delivery fee he didn't notice he'd left a hundred off the bill. Mwha! Anyways, these photos are from last week when the sun was out. S'posed to be clearing again on Thursday. Hope so. I'm feeling a bit caged.

Holy Cross church Kincumber South
(Big version)

At Kincumber South there's an old orphanage and a small sandstone church. It's bigger than St Paul's a few minutes up the road. St Paul's was built in 1847 and Holy Cross was just before it in 1842. There's a wee old cemetery beside it which is quite lovely and Mary MacKillop's convent and school behind it. The Holy Cross website says some pioneer guy called Humpreys donated the land to the church in 1838. That'll be his name then on the road the church sits on, Humpreys Road.

Holy Cross church Kincumber South
(Big version)

Holy Cross church Kincumber South

"AD 1842" it says and above that there's a heart with what appear to be nails sticking out of it. Some sort of religious symbolism thingy no doubt.

Holy Cross church Kincumber South
(Big version)

The sandstone, according to the NSW Heritage Office came from the property of William Samson Pickett, which the Herald says was or is adjoining. It's not my cup of tea. I like a fine grained sandstone in creamy and golden colours like the stuff used on St Andrew's in Sydney.

Holy Cross church Kincumber South
(Big version)

Looking down into the bowl of the Kincumber Broadwater from the wee cemetery beside the church. The church-orphange grounds had a few cows and a vegie patch on it. The Kincumber South area is semi-rural.

Holy Cross church Kincumber South
(Big version)

Love the wee fences round these two, all rusty old iron lace. All three headstones are Riley. The one in the middle reads:

"In Memory of
ON 6th MAY 1905


There were plenty of lovely old headstones like these and some going back to 1842. The Heritage Office says the graveyard "has scientific significance for its potential for research" and contains "graves of many early settlers. Land donated by Thomas Humphreys, local settler and church community member. Resting place of Thomas Humphreys ... Patrick Mulhall (pioneer of Wagstaff) ... and others associated with the settlement of Kincumber." Cool.

Croke Cottage at St Joseph's Orphanage Kincumber South
(Big version)

Croke Cottage. Sitting behind the school building and named after one of the Fathers I think.

St Jospeh's orphanage school Kincumber South
(Big version)

The old school building, as viewed from beside the loos.

Went into the wee museum set up in one of the old school rooms. Lots of old photos of boys from the orphanage when it was going and schoolroom stuff, inkwells and cramped wooden desks and the like. Very interesting but it must've been scary in there being taught by penguins wielding steel-edged rulers in the days when corporal punishment was considered good for the soul.

St Jospeh's convent school Kincumber South
(Big version)

Loo with a view, if it weren't for the wall. Just downhill from the school building. You can see how close to the water the whole church and school thing is. The ferry wharf is right behind the trees behind the loos.

Mary MacKillop

Mary MacKillop
(Embiggulation unavailable)

MacKillop might be Australia's first saint sometime soon. Not being a catholic I know bugger all about such things but I do know she's been beatified. Whatever that is. Keep coming across references to her in the Brisbane Water area. She started a Josephite order of penguins and this orphanage and convent thingy is one of the places where they roost.


Kerry said...

Sandstone and brick seem an unusual choice of building material for a country thats so warm and sunny.

Love the loo. What a fabulous outlook.

Hope the rain clears soon and you're feeling better.

Spike said...

Yeah. We build quite differently now. 1842 when the church was built was only 54 years after white settlement. Took us a long time to shake the habit of building for a pommy climate.

The Heritage Office says the orphanage and convent were built in bits and bobs from 1887 and the brick bits, "including school hall, dormitories, refectory and bathrooms opened in 1900".

There's more buildings there than I had time to photograph. Another three or four I think.

Thanks. I'm feeling much better today and it might be dry again by next week.

Bryan said...

Hello Spike
I hope you get this comment even though it's 3 years on. I couldn't find another way to contact you. Both Patrick Humphries and William Sampson Pickett are ggg grand father and gg grandfather of mine respectively. I'm wondering whether I can borrow (copy) the photos and text with acknowledgement to you.
Bryan, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Spike said...

Bryan, check yer email.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was one of the "orphans" at this orphanage back in 1967 - scary? for an 8 year old probably and one day I would like to "walk" those hallowed halls

Spike said...

Hope you get back there one day, Anon. I saw the school and the tour guide told some hair-raising tales about orphan life in the sixties. Bloody scary for a wee 8 year old.

Spike said...

All former orphans of St. Joseph's are welcome to comment here. The more the merrier.

All those seeking info for family history or have something to add to the family and local history of the area are welcome to comment.

Daisy said...

Hi i also went to this Orphanage along with my older sister. You are right about the cottage it was the residence of Father Croke. Also
the old sandstone church.. i have many fond memories of it too.. It was my job along with a few other kids to polish the floors. We would push the pews to the side and apply loads of polish to the floor and then slide on the polishing clothes up and down for hours. I would like to find more sites about this place.. can anyone help me !! Thanks heaps for a walk down memory lane

Anonymous said...

I grew up attending Kincumber church and Father Croake was a close friend of mine up until he died. I was a kid when the orphanage was still in use in the 70's and used to play with the kids before and after church. These photos have brought back alot of very fond memories. We spent many hours playing handball and riding skateboards down the cement path to the waters edge. Good times!

Anonymous said...

My grandfather was placed in St Joseph's Orphanage in Kincumber in the 1890's. It would be wonderful to obtain his records for his only living daughter. Does anyone know if this is possible?

Anonymous said...

My brothers and I were there then I was across the road with the girls mary pam sheiddy I think thats how you spell it . Ive been back several times . Oh robert and joe warren . Take care

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Anonymous said...

Yes... I too remember the name Pam Sheedy/ sheedy, I think she had a brother called Bill? I was in the girls cottages appro 1967 and my brothers were in the convent section .. Yes Very Scary and some awefull memories ! Does anyone have any pictures from that time ?

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