Com­mu­nity digs deep for church

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

Sa­cred Heart, ac­com­pa­nied by or­gan­ist Mrs Palmer­ston and sev­eral in­stru­men­tal­ists from the Tow­ers.

In the evening, the choir would per­form Cellini’s litany Rossi’s Tantum Ergo and Zin­garelli’s Lau­date. Ad­mis­sion to both ser­vices was ad­ver­tised at one shilling to 10 shillings a seat.

The new church, de­signed by Mel­bourne ar­chi­tects Reed, Smart and Tap­pin, was not con­se­crated on the open­ing day be­cause it was still of­fi­cially un­der con­struc­tion.

Three months later, on March 9, 1903, fin­ish­ing touches were fur­ther de­layed when Cy­clone Leonta stripped the roof off the build­ing. Townsville’s Catholics ral­lied again to cover the cost of re­pairs. A month later, the build­ing was de­clared weath­er­proof.

In 1930, the ar­rival of the first Bishop of the new Catholic Dio­cese of Townsville, Bishop Terry McGuire, gave the church cathe­dral sta­tus.

In 1972, Cy­clone Althea, flayed the hill­side and bat­tered the cathe­dral, but the roof stayed on.

By 2004, then just over a cen­tury old, the cathe­dral was ready for ren­o­va­tions.

Closed for two years, it was re­opened and con­se­crated in June 2006 af­ter a $ 3 mil­lion facelift, in­clud­ing restora­tions to sun­baked stained glass win­dows, re­pairs to the tim­ber ceil­ing and an ex­ten­sion of the sanc­tu­ary.

But the spire and or­nate iron roof en­vis­aged by the Mel­bourne ar­chi­tects in 1900 is yet to be built.

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