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Port Pirie St Mark's Catholic cathedral | by aquilareen
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Port Pirie St Mark's Catholic cathedral

Model of earlier building in museum. Church opened 9 Jul 1882, architect C Polain, built of Napperby freestone with cement dressings, designated 1887 as cathedral of Port Pirie Diocese. Hall foundation stone 22 Jan 1911 by Bishop J H Norton, opened 9 Jul 1911, church & hall destroyed by fire 21 Oct 1947. New cathedral opened 1953.


“Catholics of Port Pirie have been worshipping in a small weatherboard structure, altogether inadequate to the requirements of the congregation. . . Only one-half of the nave, with the west porch, has been completed. . . In the west front niches are left for the reception of statues. . . The church is lighted by twelve stained-glass windows, manufactured by Mr. Brookes, of Adelaide.” [Register 14 Jul 1882]


“The work of enlarging St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church, which has been practically rebuilt, and the erection of a hall having been completed, those buildings were blessed yesterday by the Bishop of. Port Augusta (the Right Rev. Dr. J. H. Norton). . . The building — Romanesque in style and cruciform in shape — now has the church portion in front and the school hall at the rear, and is flanked by the spacious St. John's Convent. . . The church is built of stone from Warnertown and Georgetown.” [Chronicle 15 Jul 1911]


“St. Mark's Catholic Church, one of the finest churches in Pirie, and the adjoining St. Mark's Hall, were completely gutted by fire early today. Damage is estimated at £20,000. . . All that remains this morning of the once impressive stone church in Gertrude street, facing Memorial Park, are blackened walls, charred roof beams, and flapping sheets of iron.” [Recorder 21 Oct 1947]


“Most of the contents of the church, including oil paintings, altar vessels, vestments, and stained glass windows, are a complete loss. A fine organ in the choir gallery was ruined by fire and water, and seating valued at about £500 was burnt.” [Recorder 22 Oct 1947]


“A big band of workers was busy today, converting the Catholic Missions to Seamen building into a temporary church. The job is nearly finished. Hundreds of men and women were standing by for the signal to clear debris from the old church site.” [Recorder 25 Oct 1947]


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Taken on June 1, 2014