Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb
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and the Richmond River area are rich in heritage
and still have some wonderful old buildings as a reminder
of our heritage and early ancestors. We will endeavour
to list as many as we can, complete details of the buildings
and photo's where possible.
First Ballina Church, 1888
Some of Ballina's early settlers were Methodist. In 1855 Mr
J. Gainsford commenced services. In 1867 Mr W.J. Turner settled
in Ballina. As the closest Methodist Minister lived at Grafton,
Mr Turner walked to Grafton to appeal for a minister. At Grafton
Rev. Joseph Fillingham encouraged Mr Turner to keep meeting
with Methodist families & individuals.
the 3rd May 1868 Rev, W.J. Meicklejohn performed the first
service by a Methodist Minister in Ballina. The service was
held at the Ballina Court House. On the 13th February 1888
the first Methodist Church in Ballina was opened.
1924 The Methodist College for girls was opened, on the corner
of Swift & Crane Streets. The College closed in 1930 due
to difficulties including financial problems.
Methodist Church is now the Ballina Uniting Church.
were no services held near Pimlico until the arrival of
Mr. and Mrs. W. McMullen and family in 1883, from Branxton,
on the Hunter River. With characteristic Methodist spirit
they sought to establish Methodist Ordinances, with which
they were familiar, and opened their home for services,
the Rev. Curwood being the then resident minister at Lismore.
It was soon recognised that the only way to consolidate
the word was to give it organised form by having their
own church. A building site was given, and the whole of
the district was actively canvassed for donations, the
greatest part of which was raised by Mrs. McMullen. The
Church was opened on Monday, November 10th, 1884, and
Methodists from all parts of the district were present.
services were well attended. Many of the worshippers lived
several miles distant, and came in rowing boats. Sunday School
was also established, and the Church grew in numerical strength.
For several years now the successive removal of large families
connected with the Church has weakened the cause, yet it is
not too much to say that scores of people in various parts
of the State owe their first religious impressions to the
church at Pimlico. The home of Mr. and Mrs. McMullen was ever
open to visiting ministers. during their long residence they
did much to advance Methodist ordinances in the ciruit. They
have both passed onward, but the work so courageously begun,
lives after them, and is carried on by two sons, Messrs A.
and S. McMullen, and a daughter Mrs. Wilsom, all of whom reneder
loyal and devoted service to the church.
above information was taken with permission from the Booklet:
"Our heritage 1897 - 2000 A short history of the Ballina
Uniting Church, Edited by Brian Doring, April, 2000"
St. Barnabas Church of England
1873, land was granted for the building of a Church
of England church in Wardell. A timber church with a
shingle roof was constructed by John Butler Ford in
1879. The new church was opened in 1920.
St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Ballina
was visited by the first Priest in 1853. The Presentation
Nuns came from Dublin. The first branch of the Convent
was opened in Ballina in 1887 In 1890 the first official
Parish Church was opened on the corner of Cherry &
Crane Streets. The first Priest was Father Ahearn. In
1892, the Old Presbytery was handed over to the Nuns,
as they were in charge of a school of 40 pupils.
1901 a new Church was opened. A 2 story Convent was errected
facing Cherry Street in 1910-1 & the Priest moved
from Swift Street back into the Old Presbytery.
During the 1920's a second story was placed on the Old
Presbytery. The Convent became a Boarding School in 1924.
It catered for both senior & junior students until
1965, when it closed. The New Primary School was opened
60 years after the arrival of the Presentation Nuns,
In about 1961-2 the old Church was moved to Crane Street
& became the Church Hall. The new brick Church was
opened on the 25th March 1962. The Old Presbytery was
demolished & a new one opened on the 7th August
building was once used as the convent.
St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church Wardell
has a brick Catholic church, presbytery, convent &
convent school. Catholic families included the: Byrnes,
Tylers, Kennedys, Meaneys, McDonaghs & Floods. In
1868 services were being carried out in homes.
In 1873, Bishop O'Mahony visited Wardell & confirmed
60 children & adults in the one day. The first Catholic
church at Wardell was started in 1878 & completed
in 1879. The first Priest in charge was Father McDonnell.
He had a presbytery built in 1904 & a new church
was completed in 1911.
The old church was renovated & turned into a school.
The Sisters of St Joseph from Sydney took over the school
in 1913. In 1912 a convent had been built to accommodate
the earliest settlers at Teven were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Staines.
They were devoted members of the Church, and mr. Staines was
a member of the first Quarl\terly Meeting of the circuit. As
trustee, steward and Sunday School Teacher he rendered faithful
service up to the time of his departure for Queensland a few
years ago. One of their sons was accepted as a candidate for
the ministry, but had to retire owing to ill health. About the
same time Mr. James Whipps arrived from Newcastle and took up
land for home settlement. There were now several resident families
and Mr. and Mrs Whipps opened their home for
services, the first of which was held in the early part of 1888.
The Quarterly Meeting minutes dated June, 1889, have the following
Whipps reported the intention of the inhabitants of Teven to
build a Church at that place, and asked permission for same.
Permission was granted. The
building scheme was taken up with enthusiasm. The old collecting
list is an eloquent story in figures of the people's love for
the church. Some of the donations were for the times, exceptionally
large, and must have meant real sacrifice to families whose
outlay in time and labour was heavy, and the returns often disproportionately
small. The Church was opened in 1889. Mr. Whipps has taken a
loyal and active interest in the Church and circuit since his
arrival over 30 years ago. At times in the early days he occupied
the pulpit with much acceptance, and as Sunday School superintendent,
trustee, ciruit and church steward has rendered faithful and
devoted service in Teven and the whole circuit. Teven holds
the distinction of being the only place in the circuit from
which a candidate has passed into the Ministry. Mr and Mrs R.
Barlow (also pioneer settlers), staunch supporters of the Church
encouraged their family in church work, and their son Cyril,
while yet a lad, consecrated his life to God and became a local
preacher, and began to prepare for the ministry. In 1919 he
was unaminiously recommended by the Ballina Quarterly Meeting
as a candidate for the ministry, and was received by the 1920
Conference,owing to shortage of ministers he was immediately
appointed to curcuit work. Teven Methodisim has been a distinct
influence for good throughout the community. It is noted for
its generousity to the mission and circuit funds. Mr. J. Walsh
is a comparatively recent arrival but his loyal and generous
attachment to the Church is well known through the circuit.
He is Senior Curcuit Steward, Sunday School Superintendent,
quarterly collector, and cheerfully carries his several responsibilities
with credit to himself and the church.
Special thanks must go to the Ballina Uniting Church, Most
information and pictures on the latest additons were taken from
the wonderful booklet "Our heritage 1897 - 2000 A short
History of the Ballina Uniting Church edited by Brian Doring
- Aprill 2000."
Wardell Methodist Church
Wardell Methodist Church was built in 1904-5. The building
was somewhat prone to flooding, so in 1958, the church
was raised onto brick foundations. A small extension
hall, including a kitchen was laso added. Some renovations
were carried out in 1965.
The Wardell Methodist Church is now known as the Wardell
is one of the oldest settlements in the district. It is only
three miles from Alstonville, and within easy reach of the services;
but the Methodist policy of taking the Church to the people
was followed in 1909, when a Church was built. Mr. John
on of the oldest residents, generously presented a splended
building site, and money was quickly raised for building the
Church. The present structure was opened in 1909. The number
of Methodist families is small, but regular services are held,
and the Sunday School is bravely carried on by Mr. R. Simons
and Mrs. Kennough. Mrs. Robb, Snr, is one of the earliest members
and has been connected with local Methodism for a number of
years. Her quiet and unostentious generosity has helped to extend
the work of God in the several parts of the circuit, and the
various Church building funds have been assisted by her practical
sympathy. There is every prospect that the number associated
with Wollongbar will eventually increase.
Copy of page originally transcribed by Mandy O'Neill (content remains unedited)
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