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Centenary celebrated at St Columba’s

Centenary celebrations: Fathers Vince Dwyer, Chris Hanlon, Patrick Chukwu, Bishop John Gerry, Fathers Bill O’Shea, Michael Grace, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Fathers John Egan, Geoffrey Agu, Jan Bialasiewicz and Bishop Joseph Oudeman at the Wilston celebrations.

Centenary celebrations: Fathers Vince Dwyer, Chris Hanlon, Patrick Chukwu, Bishop John Gerry, Fathers Bill O’Shea, Michael Grace, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Fathers John Egan, Geoffrey Agu, Jan Bialasiewicz and Bishop Joseph Oudeman at the Wilston celebrations.

By Emilie Ng

ONE hundred years has passed since David W. Tipler built Wilston’s Catholic church, St Columba’s – a task that only took four months.

Parishioner Josephine Nolan remembers a time when the church and the parish school shared the surrounding 3ha of farmland.

The 80-year-old has been a part of St Columba’s parish community for 56 years.

“We came to Wilston, John and I, in Christmas of 1958, with one girl, Susan,” Mrs Nolan said.

“We lived near the church in a home that belonged to my father in what they called ‘The Grange’.

“At that time Wilston was still a dairy farm.”

For the past two years Mrs Nolan has been part of a planning committee to celebrate the history of St Columba’s.

On Sunday, June 8, more than 300 people filled the large church for a Centenary Mass celebrated by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

This was the final event to mark the centenary.

Past parishioners and members of the Wilston community published their stories about growing up with St Columba’s in their backyard in a book, “A Community of Faith: 100 Years”.

“This centenary has brought people at St Columba’s back together,” Mrs Nolan said.

She said she had stayed at the parish for 56 years because of the strength of the parish community.

She also noticed that the centenary celebrations, the Centenary Mass being the final event, had “brought back more life” into the parish.

“These events promise well for the future,” Mrs Nolan said. Part of the centenary celebrations were the opening of the parish’s Centenary piazza, a candelabra for one of the side altars, and an Anzac memorial stone.

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