The Challenge

Bell  Tower RemovalBell Tower RemovalThe Quetta Memorial Precinct is located between Douglas and Chester Streets near Jardine Street, one street back from the waterfront at the south-west end of Thursday Island, Torres Strait.

The complex is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register (ID 602168) and the Torres Strait Regional Council Local Heritage Register (Schedule 3-49).

Construction began on the Church as a result of a subscription raised after the wreck of SS Quetta in the Adolphus Channel, off Albany Island in 1890. The wrecking of the Quetta remains one of Queensland's (and Australia's) worst maritime disasters. Other buildings constructed within the precinct through time include the Bishops College (now the Bishop's House) the Rectory (now known as Parish Priest's House), the Parish Institute Hall and the bell tower. The lead light and stained glass windows in the church are considered to be of high significance.

Memorials within the grounds and church include the "Coming of the Light' commemoration, Quetta Bell memorial and a sister plaque to that at Cape Melville for those who lost their lives in Bathurst Bay in 1899 in cyclone Mahina.

The condition of the buildings within the precinct had deteriorated in recent times.

The Projects

To redress the deteriorated condition of the Church, Bishop's House and Hall, the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland commissioned Converge to:

  • Prepare a conservation management plan for the All Souls St Bartholomew Church to guide future works. The Plan included a history of the site, physical description and analysis, significance assessment, and conservation policy recommendations ??? including urgent maintenance works. It was completed with the assistance of Barry Rowney, conservation architect
  • Assist with the preparation of two successful funding applications with a combined value exceeding $500 000
  • Provide heritage advice in regards to conservation options for the Church
  • Provide strategic conservation and maintenance advice ??? including options
  • Program condition and structural audits of the site
  • Provide specialist conservation planning advice and works supervision - including work method options
  • Prepare statements of heritage impact associated with exemption applications for the maintenance program
  • Prepare a completion report
  • Prepare an interpretive pamphlet for sale to visitors as a fundraising initiative for the ongoing maintenance of the church.
  • Prepare statements of heritage impact for exemption applications for maintenance at the Bishop's House
  • Prepare of a conservation management plan with the assistance of Anna Ferguson, conservation architect, for the Parish Institute Hall. This included a history of the site, site description, significance statement, conservation and management policies including urgent priority works and maintenance schedule, specification of further stages of works and consideration of the possibilities for installation of a ceiling, use of the hall for the temporary, and its continuing use as a venue for parish and community meetings and events.

The Outcomes

The conservation works at the Church were completed in December 2011.

The heritage values of the Church have been retained and it will remain a culturally significant place for the community into the future. Urgent repairs to the Bishop's House were completed in April 2012.

The conservation management plan for the Parish Institute Hall was completed in September 2012.

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  • Heritage Strategy
  • Heritage Assessment
  • Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Conservation Management
  • Heritage Planning and Design
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07 4124 1938

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