With the growth of Annerley in the early 1900’s, Catholics who were having to walk more than five kilometers to St Joseph Church Kangaroo Point, approached the then archbishop, James Duhig, who purchased land in October 1912, and then blessed the newly constructed church (with eventual classrooms underneath) on June 14 1914. This original wooden church stood where the Marymac Centre now stands, and could hold up to 300 people. Known as the “Ipswich Road Parish”, this new community of faith took in the present parishes of Coopers Plains, Corinda, Darra, Graceville, Inala, Moorooka, Oxley, Salisbury, Sunnybank and Woodridge(!) The parish priests travelled on horseback, until parishioners purchased a ‘T’ model Ford in 1920.
Only ten years after the opening of the original church, Archbishop Duhig announced the building of a new parish church, to meet the demands of the rapidly growing parish. It was to be built in memory of Fr James Gallagher, first parish priest of Annerley, who had only recently died of a heart attack while working on the fence along Ipswich Road. The foundation stone was laid on October 11 1931, and the church blessed during a High Mass on May 1 1932, under the title of “Mary Immaculate.” The archbishop remarked that “[b]y building a temple of God under the title of His Immaculate Mother, we can be assured of her assistance and help in every way.”
We can only begin to imagine the efforts and sacrifices of our forebears in this parish. It is a powerful reminder and incentive to strive in continuing their legacy which has been entrusted to our present generation, with God’s blessing and the assistance and help of Mary Immaculate.
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