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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 733

Mr NEUMANN (4:08 PM) —St Brigid’s Catholic Church in Rosewood in the electorate of Blair is one of Ipswich’s icons. It is a much-visited tourist attraction and on the heritage trail. For over 100 years now, the church building known as St Brigid’s Catholic Church has been the epicentre of the Catholic faith, a community of faith in the rural areas of Ipswich tending to the welfare, spirituality and educational needs of the people of Rosewood in the rural communities surrounding the township in the city of Ipswich. Many masses, baptisms and burials have been conducted, and the church community has tended to the needs of the sick, the poor and the vulnerable. Members of the community are involved in the Lions group, Cabanda Aged Care and many other service organisations, including the Rosewood Roosters football team.

My wife, Carolyn, and I had the pleasure of attending the centenary celebration of St Brigid’s Catholic Church and the blessing of the altar and lectern on 7 February this year. The presider was the Most Reverend John Bathersby, the Archbishop of Brisbane. A number of other members of the clergy were there, including the Very Reverend Peter Casey, the Dean of South Country Deanery, who is also the priest at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Ipswich—another beautiful Catholic church building that is well recognised in the City of Ipswich. The parish administrator is Reverend John Conway. Father John is a local Ipswich identity. He was born in Ipswich on 3 October 1956 and is an old boy of St Edmund’s College He was ordained in 1990. He and many members of the Catholic community are working hard to restore the building. This building is significant because it is probably the largest timber church in the Southern Hemisphere, being 62 feet wide and 90 feet long. It is a very large and beautiful church building. The foundations were blessed on 13 December 1908 by Father Andrew Horan in Ipswich.

Attached to the church is St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School, which is well led by the principal, Veronica Lawson. The church partners with the people and the parents of Rosewood to provide the best education possible for the young people there. St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School is receiving $75,000 as part of the National School Pride Program funding and the BER funding, and $850,000 for a multipurpose hall under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century program. I am very pleased that I will be turning the first sod in the next few weeks with Veronica Lawson. Congratulations to the Catholic community of Rosewood and to St Brigid’s Catholic Church. May you go on in the decades to come.