Person Sheet

Birth 8 Oct 1859, Ballarat, Vic
Death 31 Jul 1902, Yarragon Age: 42. Died of then untreatable appendicitis.  Buried at the Yarragon cemetery as Martha Henderson
Father Thomas WILKINSON (1817-1879)
Mother Ellen HENRY (1831-1870)
Children: Frank (1899-)




David "Dave" (1893-1970)
1 John O'FARRELL, 10 May 1877, St Mary's Catholic Church, Geelong
Birth 1843, County Clare, Ireland
Death 14 Apr 1890, Dunnstown Age: 47
Burial 16 Apr 1890, Ballarat Cemetery Age: 47
Occupation Farmer
Father John O'FARRELL
Mother Bridget O'NEIL
Children: Bridget (1877-1877)

Patrick (1879-)

Cathleen (1881-)

Ellen (1883-)

Martha (1884-)

Bridget (1885-)

John "Jack" (1887-1961)

James (1889-1946)

Thomas (1889-1919)

Thanks to the gold rush, Geelong continued to prosper and the population swelled. In 1852 the number of Catholics in Geelong had grown to almost 4000, so it was decided that the congregation needed an even larger church. This new church was not going to be just a place of worship, but a building that would do justice to the name of St. Mary and one which would serve as a striking icon for Geelong.

The plans drawn up by Messrs Dowden and Ross called for a magnificent cathedral-like building, 200 feet long, 130 feet wide and costing 40,000 pounds. It was to feature a giant bluestone spire, flying buttresses and an exquisite rose window. The bluestone construction would be complemented with the finest Barrabool sandstone quarried from the local hills.

So in 1854, amid widespread celebrations, the foundation stone of the new St. Mary of the Angels Church was laid. However in 1856, work on the new church ceased, turning the grand vision of Dowden and Ross into nothing more than an eyesore for the community.

After seventeen years, the arrival of Archdeacon Slattery to Geelong in 1871 was the catalyst for work to commence on the new church and in 1872 the new St Mary of the Angels was dedicated. Despite the fact that the spires were not yet installed, it was an impressive structure that dominated the local landscape. It seated over 1000 people and was lauded in the local press for its artistry.


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