Timeline: 1954-1959


Date Event
Boating tragedy in Mandurah Estury when three Presentation Sisters – Patricia, Finbar and Joachim – and Irish priest, Fr Gerald O’Hara, drowned after a boating accident. This resulted in temporary closure, for two years, of the Mandurah school in the church.

Parish of Brunswick established from Harvey in care of Italian Capuchan Friars.

Denmark constituted a Parish, with Fr JJ McGrath.

1958 Monsignor Charles Cunningham appointed Vicar General and Parish Priest of Albany
March 1st, 1958 Ordination of Fr Bernard Dwyer in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Bunbury the first ordination in the Diocese
September 1st, 1957
First Combined Funds Scheme introduced in Albany Parish, after a committee led by Fr Jim Petry, Jim Doyle, Brian O’Connell, Des O’Sullivan et al had canvassed the parish. Collection went from 27 pounds to 170 pounds.

Death of Monsignor Fred Byrne of Albany, first Vicar General of Bunbury.

July 28th, 1957 Opening of the Church of St Francis of Assisi at Walpole
July 7th, 1957 Blessing and opening of the Presentation Convent, Boyup Brook
June 1957
Month of visitation and functions by Fr Gajkowski for Polish people at thirteen centres in the Diocese.

Week long visit of the National Secretary of the YCW to seven centres of the Diocese.

Popular Girls Competition introduced in Donnybrook Parish as the first fundraiser for a proposed new convent and school in Donnybrook.

May 9th, 1957 Opening of Tuckshop and Sportsroom provided by P&F at St Francis Xavier’s College, Bunbury
April 7th, 1957 Opening and blessing of the Church Mary, Help of Christians at Maradup
March 1957 Fr James Petry OBE arrived from Southwark Diocese in London to work in Albany
February 3rd, 1957 Blessing and opening of new school at Boyup Brook
February 1957
Beginning of monthly services in Polish (Evening: Sermon, Rosary and Confession) and morning Masses at Bunbury and Collie

New Parish of Lake Grace established under Fr Michael Fitzgerald

January 1957
Increase of 20% for Pontifical Mission Societies’ appeals in 1956 announced by Fr B Baldwin MSC, Diocesan Director

Extra Masses 6.45am and 7.30pm in Albany to cater for the holiday crowds and holidaying religious

Christmas 1956 The Votive Candle stand made a reappearance at the crib scene in St Patrick’s Cathedral, after many years of absence because of candle restrictions during WWII
Advent 1956 Pastoral Letter of Bishop Goody on the responsibility of parents as modelling the life of faith for their children throughout their prayers, actions and level of family life
December 2nd, 1956
Opening and Blessing of the new Convent school in Bridgetown.

Blessing and opening of the Church at Northcliffe, followed by a Mission from Dec 2-9 and in Pemberton December 9-16

August 19th, 1956 Mission and Festa of the Madonna Assunta at Brunswick
August 15th, 1956 Meeting to form a branch of the Catholic Men’s League in Bunbury
July 9th, 1956 Announcement the Federal Government would meet interest payments on loans raised to provide secondary schools accommodation at 5% per year
June 17th, 1956 Feast of St Anthony Procession. Mass and Festa in Waroona
May 13th, 1956 Blessing and opening of new Presbytery at Albany by Bishop JJ Rafferty of Perth
May 6th, 1956 Crowning of Our Lady ceremony held for the first time in Narrogin
April-October, 1956 Bishop Goody on first ad limina visit to the Holy Father in Rome
20-30 April, 1956 Visit and rallies of National Director of the Holy Name Sodality, Fr D M Fitzmauriece Op
March 18th, 1956 Pastoral Letter of Bishop Goody explaining the changes in eucharistic fasting from 3 hours to 1 hour and the possibility of evening Masses, encouraging both priests and people to take advantage of these new faculties
Holy Week, 1956 Encouragement by Bishop Goody for the full celebration for the Revised Rite of Holy Week
1956 Renovation and completion of St Patrick’s as the Cathedral and Mother Church of the Diocese
February 5th, 1956 Formal opening of St Pius Christian Brothers’ College, Albany
January 1st, 1956 Establishment of ‘The South Star’ as official organ of the Bunbury Diocese
December 31st, 1955 First Mass at Needilup, for new settlers from the Jerramungup and Corrucarup areas
December 20th, 1955 Vicar General, Dean Byrne of Albany made a Monsignor by Pope Pius XII
December 18-20, 1955 Celebrations to mark the Silver Jubilee of Ordination as a priest for Bishop Goody
December 11th, 1955 Italian Missions Italian Festa and Procession of the Madonna Immaculata in Harvey and the Madonna Assunta in Brunswick led by the Australian provincial at the Capuchins
December 4th, 1955 Dedication of the Church of St Joseph, Manjimup; Fr J McCarthy, Parish Priest
October 30th, 1955 Dedication and opening of the Church of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Karridale
October 1955 First visit by the Apostolic Delegate to the Diocese of Bunbury. Introduction of the Capuchin Franciscan Fathers at Harvey-Brunswick parish.
July 31st, 1955 Blessing and opening of the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Kukerin. Blessing and opening of the Church of Mary Queen, Lake Grace
June 5th, 1955 Diocesan convention of the Holy Name Society formed a Diocesan Union to co-ordinate between parishes
April 17th, 1955 Dedication of Sacred Heart Church, Cowaramup
April 3rd, 1955
Opening of new parish school of St Mary South Bunbury. Dedication and renovation of school-church at St Mary’s South Bunbury

March 5th, 1955 Papal Brief from Rome establishing Mary Help of Christians and St Patrick as first and second patrons of the Diocese of Bunbury
March 3rd, 1955 Liturgical Reception at St Patrick’s Church Waroona to Bishop Goody. Civic reception by Drakesbrook Roads Board on occasion of first official visit to district and parish.
February 1955 Beginning of St Edmund’s Christian Brothers’ College, Collie. Brother Webster, Principal
February 1955 Origins of Catholic schooling for 40 at Mandurah with two classrooms being converted from the parish church/school on Creery Street. Operated so until 1959
February 1955 Initial intake of 74 students to St Pius X Christian Brothers’ College, Albany
November 12th, 1954 Diocese of Bunbury established, with Launcelot John Goody appointed first Bishop
February 1954
Opening of St Francis Xaviers’ Marist Brothers’ College, Bunbury