Her­itage life­line for old church

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

One of Roe­bourne’s sig­nif­i­cant his­toric build­ings is set for a lon­gover­due restora­tion, with Aus­tralia’s peak her­itage body tak­ing in­ter­est in the project.

The Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church is the old­est church in the Pil­bara, built in 1895 af­ter the orig­i­nal church on the same site was de­stroyed by a cy­clone a year ear­lier.

The WA branch of the National Trust of Aus­tralia has come on­board to help the Angli­can par­ish in Wick­ham and Friends of the Holy Trin­ity Church to es­tab­lish a con­ser­va­tion man­age­ment plan and to help raise funds.

Part of this will be an ap­peal to launch on Au­gust 20 dur­ing Roe­bourne’s 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

WA National Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Ju­lian Don­ald­son said the trust was keen to help in the restora­tion of what he de­scribed as a remarkable and unique stone con­struc­tion.

“I think there’s a very good story to tell about the Roe­bourne com­mu­nity that from the very early days they had the where­withal and the heart and soul to build a church of that stature,” he said.

“It’s on the State her­itage reg­is­ter, its the old­est church in the Pil­bara, and has for many years been a land­mark in Roe­bourne.

“Her­itage build­ings are re­ally im­por­tant to the broader com­mu­nity in that they give us the abil­ity to re­flect on where we’ve come from.”

Stake­hold­ers be­hind the push to re­store the Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church are hop­ing this will be the first of many un­der­tak­ings in Roe­bourne, where his­toric build­ings have been in ad­min­is­tra­tive limbo for years.

Wick­ham com­mu­nity chap­lain Rev­erend Richard Goscombe said

the town was for­tu­nate the church had avoided any catastrophic dam­age to date.

“It’s the old­est stone build­ing in the North West, and the old­est church in the North West, so we re­ally do need to recog­nise it rep­re­sents a huge amount of the story of this re­gion,” he said.

“When we are in­creas­ingly want­ing to un­der­stand the his­tory — both the bad and the good — build­ings such as this are so im­por­tant.

“All the build­ings here in the precinct ... they are all part of telling that story ac­cu­rately and we need to get mov­ing.”

The church will form an in­te­gral part of Roe­bourne’s 150th an­niver­sary next month, as it is set to play host to a sun­set bar­be­cue and a ser­vice on the hill to fin­ish the cel­e­bra­tions.

Flood­lights sur­round­ing the church will be switched on for a few hours ev­ery night when the 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions be­gin.

In April, the City of Kar­ratha turned down a De­part­ment of Lands re­quest to take over man­age­ment of the Roe­bourne Her­itage Precinct.

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