Priest leaves after three hard years
The secretary of the Townsville Liedertafel announces that practice for the concert to be given at the end of August will be commenced forthwith. Of late the number of performing members has not been as large as the class of music undertaken warrants and the committee would be pleased to welcome new members capable of participating in the chorus. On Friday last, while trying to catch a horse at Miss Macdonald’s selection, at Paul’s Pocket, a lad named Willie Winton had the misfortune to have his leg broken ( says the Proserpine Guardian of July 13). It appears the animal, which was always looked upon as very old and quiet, rushed at the boy, seized him by the shirt between the shoulders and dashed him to the ground with such force that his leg was broken. The lad was at once brought in to town by Messrs Macdonald and Emmerson and the broken limb was set by Dr. Anderson. As the result of a collision between a car and a bicycle in Flinders St about 11 o’clock on Wednesday, Alexander Trotter, 49, of Queens Road, Hermit Park, was conveyed to a private surgery with a fractured left rib, injury to the left ankle and abrasions to the hands and over the left eye. A lad named William McLachlan, who was reported missing from his home in West End, has informed his parents that he has secured employment at Ayr. Laurie Laurence ( 12), of 34 Echlin Street, West End, received a probable fracture of his right collarbone when playing football at the Sports Reserve on Friday. He was transported to hospital. Adams’ resignation because of ill health, observing: “He has endeared himself to all classes of the community and his loss will be deeply regretted.”
A sketch of the inexperienced deacon’s achievements can be found in the online history of St James Cathedral, Townsville.
Townsville’s Anglicans secured Mr Adams’ appointment by promising the Bishop of Sydney, Dr Frederic Baker, to meet £ 120 of his £ 200 annual stipend. The balance came from funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
His arrival spurred members to begin fundraising for a church. The Anglicans’ occasional worship leader Police Magistrate James Gordon was unhappy with using the courthouse as a makeshift house of God.
He was ashamed Townsville had two theatres and no
He was ashamed Townsville
had two theatres and no churches
churches in 1870, describing this as “a standing reproach to us all” when launching construction of St James Church on Melton Hill in May, 1871.
The weatherboard church, opened in October, 1871, at a cost of £ 400. Mr Gordon’s mother reportedly presented a stained- glass rose window to be placed above the entry.
Townsville’s Catholics opened their first church on The Strand a few months later.
The Rockhampton Bulletin’s depiction of a Catholic- Protestant church- building race seems far- fetched.
“Mr Adams, the Church of England Clergyman, has been here eight months, and there has been scarcely a movement towards getting up a church,” the newspaper sneered. “Perhaps they may be shamed into doing something when the Catholic Church is built.”
In fact, Mr Adams’ duties extended far beyond Townsville – north to the Gulf and west to the North’s burgeoning goldfields and pastoral runs.
A report of his first 12 months tabled at the Church Mission Society’s annual meeting in Sydney in November 1871 recorded he travelled over a length of 1100 miles.
“His labours throughout that vast district were very much of a missionary character,” the Sydney Morning Her- ald reported on November 8, 1871. He had persuaded Ravenswood goldminers to build a church and convinced magistrates and other lay persons to follow James Gordon’s example in conducting services.
Before his departure in 1873, with “handsome writing desk, dressing- case and pencil case” from the Sunday school, he organised a novelty auction to clear the parsonage of £ 60 debt, ensuring a clean start for his successor the Reverend W Kildahl, previously of Ravenswood.
St James Anglican Church, Townsville, c. 1880; and, inset, Reverend James Adams.