St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Subiaco, Western Australia

In 1896 the Sisters of St John of God arrived in Western Australia to help care for the sick. They initially “set up shop” in the private home of a well-respected but recently deceased leader of the Catholic community, Bernard Smith*.

While this was a good place to begin their ministry, it was not suitable as a long-term hospital site. After several years it was decided that a purpose-designed hospital should be built near the railway line in the near-Perth suburb of Subiaco.

A small convent was built along with the new St John of God Hospital.

St Joseph’s, Subiaco

The Hospital was built on the other side of the road and remains in use today, along with many modern additions.

In 1933 an impressive new church was built for hospital patients and their families as well as the locals in the developing suburb.

St Joseph’s, Subiaco

Impressive as the external architecture is, the inside of the church is equally grand.

St Joseph’s, Subiaco St Joseph’s, Subiaco

The reason all of this is worthy of note is that Subiaco is undergoing large scale urban renewal. The railway line has been put underground and this has opened up new land for development. Many old buildings have been removed and modern, multi-story luxury residential units are being erected.

I was in the area last week and saw the convent and church as I have never seen them before. The buildings masking this final view have been removed and will be replaced by one of these large residential hives.

This view, partly from the rear of both Convent and Church will not be seen for possibly another century.

St Joseph’s, Subiaco

* Great Great Grandfather of regular commentor on this blog, genius genealogist and spouse, Buff.

4 Responses

  1. Pity there wasn’t a good photograph taken of the original house before the vandals knocked it down without Planning Permission in the dead of night! Good photo …

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  2. Buff, indeed. The lack of good photographs of much of Perth’s early history is aggravating.

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  3. That is a cool church. I’ve seen a lot of churches in my travels, and although you get to the point of “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” they are still each unique and fascinating in their own ways.

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  4. uJ658TeiB0ZcX

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