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St Josephs Church

Fryer Street, North Ward

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St Joseph's Church (2016); Paddy Waterson

St Joseph's Church (2016)

St Josephs Church (1999); Heritage Branch staff

St Josephs Church (1999)

St Josephs Church, side elevation (2006); Heritage Branch staff

St Josephs Church, side elevation (2006)

original St Joseph's Church on The Strand (1888) State Library of Queensland; Heritage Branch Staff

original St Joseph's Church on The Strand (1888) State Library of Queensland

St Joseph’s Catholic Church was designed by Townsville architects C D Lynch and Walter Hunt. Construction was supervised by Ardell Rooney of the local firm Rooney Ltd. The foundation stone was laid on 26 January 1919 by the bishop of Rockhampton, Bishop Shiel. It replaced an earlier timber church, which was located on The Strand. The church was built of reinforced concrete. The bishop had argued for masonry buildings as a consequence of the recurring cyclone damage in Townsville. St Joseph’s was opened in July 1921, by Archbishop Duhig. Monsignor Burke dedicated one altar to the memory of Matthew Rooney, his wife Catherine and daughter Elizabeth, lost in the sinking of the Yongala in 1911. The Rooneys had lived opposite the church, in the property now known as Yongala Lodge. The altar was crafted and donated by the Rooney family, in honour of Matthew and Catherine. Small extensions were made to the church in the 1950s. In the 1980s a modern altar was added, reflecting the changes recommended by Vatican II. The Rooney memorial altar remains unchanged.

Coordinates: -19.25318062, 146.81749115

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023