Photos taken in 2016 by my daughter. Copyright Acerules
The story of the paintings covering the walls and ceiling of St Mary's Church Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia, is a tale of the Great Depression that gripped the world in the 1930s. One day an Italian called Francesco Floreani was hired by Father Cremin to paint a sculpture in the church.
As the man needed work, the good father let him stay on for years and paint murals on almost every surface of the large and lofty building. It is done in the Italian style. Now it is a tourist attraction, and you can buy souvenirs of and books about the church at the information centre next door.
The 12 apostles and authors of the four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are depicted. These windows were being restored when we were there.
Well, I grew up in that town, and that church, for six years in the 1970s. In those days there were often Irish priests, and they are very funny and have the gift of the gab, so it's unlikely that I was too often bored. But if I was, there were always the murals to look at.
It was the 1970 s and I was in Primary school. My mother stood at the microphone each week and led the singing with her lovely soprano voice. It was post Vatican Two. We were allowed to have groovy hymns. Even the old standards were belted out at a fast pace. I remember singing hymns in those days was fun, and the church was usually full. Here's one I remember, you may too, it was a mainstream hit:
Sr Janet Mead -The Lords Prayer HD version.
One tradition I remember, was when the Italian members of the community would process the large statue of St Anthony down the Main Street of the town, once a year , like they do in Italy. Some girls who had made their First Holy Communion, would process in front, with baskets of rose petals, throwing them on the road .
I stole that tradition when my 2nd hubby and I renewed our vows for our tenth anniversary; in our current church. We had our daughter process in front, throwing petals as we came into the church, and beautiful she was too.
All photos are copyright Acerules.