Parish History


The Early Days (1900’s)

In the early days of Mullumbimby, settlers dotted the green countryside with their dairy farms and banana plantations beneath the shadow of a mountain called Chincogan. There were no resident priests and the Eucharist had to be celebrated in a room at the Railway Hotel by a visiting priest.

The foundation stone of the Roman Catholic Church, Mullumbimby was laid on May 12, 1906, by the late Bishop Doyle. At this particular period  Dean Welsh was in charge of the district.

In 1910 a cottage near the Railway Station was acquired for a convent and the first community of 3 Sisters of St Joseph arrived to teach 28 children in a room adjoining the new brick church. A new wooden convent was built on the hill above the church about 1915, and the Sisters moved in. Unfortunately, the whole convent was burnt down and the Sisters had to reside with Mr Gerald O’Conner’s home for some days.

Mr Dan Buckley gave his house and three blocks from the present convent until on April 18, 1920 Rev Monsignor McGuire V.G. laid the foundation stone of the new brick convent. This was built by Fr McEvoy while Fr Williams the Parish Priest was on leave in Ireland.

The School was built and opened in 1912, and the new Convent and Presbytery erected and opened in 1920. All the buildings were brick and were positioned in the picturesque surroundings overlooking the magnificent Brunswick River. The School, Convent and Presbytery were constructed under the direction of Rev Richard (Dick) Williams (1917) the first Parish Priest of St John’s Parish Mullumbimby.

There was no bridge across the Brunswick River and Mass times has to coincide with the tide so the people could get across on foot or their buggies.

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A historical walk back through time

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Former Parish Priests

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