The Church of the Irish Martyrs

Chapter 44

Published Oct, 2015

On 24 October 1928 a block on the northern side of the Green’s Road corner in Arthurs Creek was donated to the Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation as a site for the Church of the Irish Martyrs. The Church of the Irish Martyrs was opened in Arthurs Creek in November 1928. The church building was moved to Loyola College, Watsonia, in August 1990. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper

…the modest wooden church ‘was blessed and opened on a Sunday afternoon’ by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Rev. Dr. Mannix…

The Advocate of November 8, 1928 reported the opening of ‘a new church on a fine site at Arthurs Creek’. The church was built overlooking the creek flats and folding hills on the site of the former blacksmith shop at the corner of Greens Road.

Known as the Church of the Irish Martyrs, the modest wooden church ‘was blessed and opened on a Sunday afternoon’ by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Rev. Dr. Mannix.

Arthurs Creek (was) in the Diamond Creek parish, a widely scattered district, with churches in Diamond Creek, Eltham, Panton Hill, Warrandyte, Kinglake and Arthurs Creek. The parish priest (was) the Rev. James Lande, whose presbytery (was) in Diamond Creek.

‘The fine site was given by Mr. B. (Bartholomew) Ryder. Mr. D. (David) Murphy gave the blocks on which the church stood, and the large tank was the gift of Mr. Brinkotter. The church cost £440 to build… Fr. Cerrutti had originated the project, and Fr. Lande had carried it to completion… Mr. Everard, M.L.A. congratulated pastor and people on the erection of the fine church.’ Mr. L.W. Clarke of ‘Linton Grange’ Doreen, offered to donate a fine organ for the church.

‘On with the Dance,’ reported The Advertiser of January 4, 1929. Dance, dance with flying feet, until the small hours die away…. This advice was followed when, on the evening of Wednesday, December 26, a dance was held in the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute hall in aid of the new Roman Catholic Church. The hall was decorated with blue and gold streamers. Mr. Ryder’s band supplied the music and Mr. Lodge very efficiently carried out the duties of M.C. The attendance was good and most of the dancers went away looking forward to the time when a similar dance would be held for the same cause.’

The Advertiser of April 19, 1929 reported -‘On Sunday May 5, a sacred concert will be given in the new Catholic Church, Arthurs Creek. … A collection will be made in aid of the building fund… .’

In August 1990, the church building was moved to a new life as the Chapel of The Irish Martyrs and Memorial Garden at Loyola College, Watsonia.

The former Arthurs Creek Catholic Church, Church of the Irish Martyrs, was relocated to Loyola College, Watsonia in August 1990. It is used for community and class Masses
The Village Smithy or Blacksmiths shop and hut at the corner of Greens Road in the 1890s. Once part of 'Ivy Bank' farm, the Ryder family gifted the site to the Catholic Church for the erection of the 'Church of the Irish Martyrs'. This opened 4th November, 1928. Photo credit Ryder family
Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute Hall and Free Library. Photo by Bruce G. Draper, 2012

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