Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Thames (NZ): Celebrating 150 Years of the Catholic Faith at the Thames

Wow, another big occasion is about to hit the town. This weekend the local catholic parish and school are celebrating 150 years at the Thames.

The church has a history page which covers how the church and schools started along with the names of the parish priests. Father Jourdan was the first Parish Priest, he arrived on the Goldfield in October 1867 and had the first church erected three months later. Plus he was instrumental in the establishment of the Thames Goldfield Hospital, which opened 2 November 1868.

Over the years, the buildings have developed to suit the needs of the parish, which include in more recent years new school facilities. This weekend the memories of past decades will again be heard.
ABOVE: The Catholic Church in Willoughby Street, Shortland. James Mackay's house is centre left on the brow of the hill overlooking Bowen Street (now known as Rolleston Street).
ABOVE: A later view of the buildings on Willoughby Street. From Left to Right: The catholic Presbytery, Catholic Church and the Catholic School. There was also a catholic school in Walter Street.
ABOVE: The catholic church in Grahamstown was called St Brigid's. It is lower centre in the view above - the front faces Queen Street, the rear is on Pollen Street.
ABOVE: The present St Francis Church at the corner of Baillie and Willoughby Street.