Heritage lifeline for old church
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.