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A history of St Mary’s Parish Bingara
Catholic Centenary Celebrations
24-29 August, 1982
1. The Catholic Church in Bingara – Pre-Parish Days
The history of the Catholic Church in Bingara starts shortly after the arrival of the first resident Priest in Armidale, Fr TIM McCARTHY, in 1853. The Parish or district of ‘Fr Tim’ (as he was affectionately called) extended from Singleton to Ipswich and from the Pacific Ocean westwards as far as he cared to go. It is recorded (in the official Baptismal Register of the day) that before the end of 1853, he had baptized children from different areas in his large Parish, including Myall Creek near Bingara.
To give an example of Fr Tim’s ministry – in 1859, he made four trips throughout the west – two through Gunnedah and Wee Waa, a third trip through Warialda, Bingara, Cobedah and Bundarra, and a fourth through Manilla, Barraba, Bingera and Bundarra. To quote Bishop Doody: ‘It was indeed a life in the saddle.’
The Catholic Directory of 1862 sets out Fr McCarthy’s districts – 1. New England, 2. Liverpool Plains, 3. Gwydir and McIntyre. Under this third heading is mentioned stations at Warialda, Moree, Bingara and Inverell.
According to the Bingara Advocate (29/8/34) DEAN LYNCH from Armidale visited Bingara periodically (about twice a year), and quoting Fr Michael Foley (Administrator Armidale 1914-17) “in those days, Fathers Davis and Reade of Inverell and Father Doyle of Narrabri visited the town monthly. Fr Donnelly ministered there for awhile and even Fr McGuiness of Moree gave an occasional look in”.
It was the time of the circuit, ie before the establishment of Parishes as we know them today, Priests would visit, in turn, particular areas or districts of population, celebrate Mass and administer the Sacraments. The frequency of visits would be determined by distance and availability of Priests. There was overlapping at times, with Priests helping each other.
The Armidale Diocese was erected in 1863. In 1887, the Diocese of Lismore was formed from the Eastern portion of the Armidale Diocese, and part of the Maitland Diocese, including Tamworth and Gunnedah, was added to Armidale.
The Freemans Journal (18th October, 1872) records an historic visit of BISHOP O’MAHONY to the western districts of the Diocese. It mentions that the Bishop dedicated St Mary’s Church at Bundarra on 15th September, 1872, and accompanied by Fr John Davis of Inverell, next visited Barraba, thence across the mountain to Narrabri, to Moree, Pallamallawa and Warialda. On the 2nd October, the Bishop solemnly dedicated the Church of the Guardian Angels at Warialda. It is noted in the report that there was as yet no Church in all the north west of the Diocese (including Narrabri and Moree), and that in all the places mentioned (except Pallamallawa) the Bishop celebrated Mass and administered the Sacrament of Confirmation.
To take up the words of the Freemans journal: “On the morning of the 4th October, His Lordship, driven by Mr James Bowman, proceeded to Bingera . . . . . and was accompanied for several miles out of town by the people of Warialda …. the cavalcade indeed was a goodly one.”
“On the 6th October, 1872, His Lordship dedicated the CHURCH OF THE HOLY ROSARY AT BINGERA, and after 11 o’clock Mass, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to some 25 candidates. In the evening His Lordship delivered a most eloquent discourse on the most Holy Rosary. Much cannot be said at present for this little Church, it not being as yet completed, but it is due to the good and devoted Catholics of Bingara to say, small though their Church is, considering the narrowness of the community, they must have made great efforts and great sacrifices to bring it to its present state, and to be able to say in the face of the world, they owe not one shilling on it.”
The Freemans journal notes that the building of the Church was the work of Rev John J Davis who held a bazaar in September, 1872, for the erection of a Catholic Church and Presbytery.
The report concludes: “The people of Bingara manifested their appreciation of His Lordship’s visit amongst them and previous to his departure presented him with a purse. His Lordship expressed his gratitude to them and hoped he would be spared to often visit them. His Lordship returned to Armidale on the 9th October.”
Quoting Fr Michael Foley: “An old man named Madden prepared a Confirmation Class there in 1879 and accompanied BISHOP TORREGGIANI over the gold fields. Apparently the Bishop then determined to send them a resident Priest.” And indeed he did.
FATHER SALVADOR was sent from Inverell to become the FIRST PARISH PRIEST of Bingara in June, 1882.
2. The Parish of Bingara: 1st 25 Years: 1882 – 1907
- Father Salvador: 1882-4
- Father F Kavanagh: 1884-7
- Father P Kelly: 1886
- Father J Guerrini: 1887-9
- Father R Dunham: 1889-90
- Father P Lynch: 1890-91
- Father John Paul: 1891-93
- Father J Kelly: 1894
- Father M O’Sullivan: 1895
- Father P Long: 1895-7
- Father J Byrne: 1897
- Father P Riordan: 1898-9
- Father J Clancy: 1899-1907
Up to 1900, there were 16 Priests who ministered in the Parish. The above list, as far as records permit us, seem to represent the Parish Priests of the period, although Fathers M O’Sullivan and J Byrne could have been Administrators. Some, eg Fr John Paul – who served as the first Parish Priest of Bundarra for a number of years – worked in the Parish on more than one occasion.
When Bingara became a Parish, it succeeded Inverell in becoming the largest Parish in the Diocese. These early Priests had included in their Parish Manilla, Barraba, The Horton, Warialda, Gravesend, Yetman, Coolatia, Wallangra, Gramen, Boggabilla, Mungindi, and Moree (ef Ordo 1886).
Bishop Torreggiani was, at the time of his appointment to the See of Armidale, a Franciscan Capuchin. During his time as Bishop, he attracted many of his fellow Capuchin Priest, (8 at one stage) ministering in the Parishes of the Diocese. In the early Bingara Parish there were four such Priests viz Fathers Salvador, Kavanagh, Guerrini and John Paul. Most, if not all, were Italians.
In “A Collection of Historical Stories” by Bruce Batterham, 1977, H O Bridger recalls Fr PAUL in 1891 (either Fr P Lynch or Fr John Paul) with his buggy and pair of ponies. With the exception of Fr J CLANCY, little is recorded about the other Priests in this era. Fr Clancy seems to have made a great impression. In “Random jottings” by H Batterham, Mrs Giovanelli speaks of Fr Clancy as (a very fine man’, and the Bingara Advocate of 29/8/34 states:”… then came Fr Clancy whose Pastorate of seven years is still remembered gratefully by many people. He died about three years ago in Tenterfield”. BISHOP O’CONNOR in his “Account of the Diocese – 1921 ” states: . . . . (Bingara) “has the honour of seeing many Pastors, Dean Guerrini and some others who reigned but a very short time. Then followed Father Clancy who really succeeded in making a good mission of the place More about Fr Clancy and his work soon.
In an account of the Diocese, in 1887, Bishop Torreggiani speaks of Bingara as a Parish 200 x 50 miles wide and states that the Churches at Manilla, Barraba, Warialda and Moree were attended in turn by the Bingara Priest.
MOREE BECAME A PARISH IN 1889 and presumably took with it Mungindi and Boggabilla.
Meanwhile BINGARA AND DISTRICT was progressing. The Post Office had been built in 1862 and the Court House in 1879. John C L Veness started printing the “Bingara Telegraph’ in 1884. In 1886, the bridge across the Gwydir River was completed, and in the same year the population of Bingara was given as 414. In 1889, the town was incorporated, the first Council formed and the name “Bingara” was adopted (previously “BingEra”). The first Hospital was built in 1890, and in 1896, Bingara Station was subdivided – some settlers from the goldfields moved into town. In 1905, Myall Creek was cut off for closer settlement.
The FIRST PRESBYTERY was a weatherboard one built by Fr Salvador in 1882. It was situated at the back of the present Presbytery, presumably in line with the Church.
The FIRST ST MARY’S CHURCH (Church of the Holy Rosary) – weatherboard – had been built in 1872. In 1888, Fr Guerrini added the sacristy and sanctuary to this Church.
In 1906, Fr Clancy laid the foundation of the SECOND ST MARY’S CHURCH (present brick one – Our Lady Help of Christians?). In 1907, in the Silver jubilee Year of the Parish, Fr Collender opened this Church (built by Joseph Keenan). The sacristy and sanctuary of the first Church were to remain for another 30 years or so.
Before 1902, there were two foundations of the SISTERS OF MERCY – apparently not from Gunnedah. The Ordo of 1888 lists a Parochial School in Bingara catering for 45 pupils. By the following year, the number of pupils increased to 55 and according to 1889’s Ordo, the School was conducted by the SISTERS OF MERCY being apparently a secondary boarding school. By 1893, it reverted to “a Parochial School”, conducted by secular teachers (Ordo) and had 69 children enrolled.
Sometime after 1893, it would seem that the SECOND FOUNDATION of the SISTERS OF MERCY took place. Miss Wearne, a 92-year-old Bingara resident, recalls this particular period and talks of a Sister Mary Gabriel in charge, later joined by Sisters M Syra and M Madeline (These spellings could be incorrect).
The FIRST SCHOOL was conducted in the old Church. It appears that the SECOND SCHOOL opened around 1897 (could be a ‘phantom’). The THIRD SCHOOL ‑ old School of Arts Building – was acquired by Fr Clancy in 1901.
The FIRST CONVENT was situated at the back of the present School Principal’s Residence or it could have been at the western side (north-west corner of Church grounds). Accounts vary here – there could have been two early convents.
In 1902, a community of four SISTERS OF ST JOSEPH came to Bingara and 63 children enrolled in their first school. Thus was to begin an unbroken association of 77 years of this Order of Sisters with the Parish. One of the pioneering Sisters was Sister M Bernadette.
Here is a copy of Fr Clancy’s letter concerning this occasion:
Dear Sister Cassimer,
The Presbytery, BINGARA, 11th July, 1902
You have, of course, already heard from Mr Ryan that all arrangements in connection with the re-opening of the school by the devoted Sisters of St Joseph has been completed.
On last Sunday, I warned the parents to have all the children at school on Monday 21st. The piano has arrived and now we await the Sisters themselves. When the coach arrives at Barraba on Thursday, Mrs, Mcinerney of the Post Office Hotel will meet it and take the Sisters to her hotel for dinner.
I don’t know much about how things are done at the Manilla station. I think it is a bus that brings passengers to town. If they call at McNulty’s hotel, Mr and Miss McNulty will look after them in the line of breakfast etc.
I have to go to Warialda tomorrow but shall be back early in the week, and I shall have Mass here on the Sunday before the School opens so that I can have another “blow” at the people.
Trusting the Sisters may have a safe and pleasant journey,
I remain, faithfully,
(sgd) J T CLANCY
The Sisters opened a music centre and collected tour pounds in fees. By 1905, music fees totalled fourteen pounds.
It would appear that the first TWO RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS from the Parish occur towards the end of this period:
SISTER CORNELIUS (SMITH), a Sister of St Joseph, lived for a while at the Upper Horton;
JAMES FRANCIS McCOSKER (now Monsignor McCosker of Ryde, Sydney) was baptized in St Mary’s Church by Fr Clancy on the 9th February, 1907.
In these early days of the Parish, the MOST COMMON FAMILY NAMES of actual BINGARA RESIDENTS mentioned in the CHURCH’S REGISTERS (Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths) include Plunkett, Macey, McDermott, O’Brien, Reeves, Stapleton, Lyons, McCarthy, Madden, King, Kelly, O’Neill, Byrnes, Bridger, McManus, Butler, Reid, Perrot, Bowman, Smith, Read, Ryan, Brien, Walton, Troutman, Bull, Silk, Armstrong, Galvin, Sullivan, Conway. Many of these names would have been with the Parish from its beginning.
The first recorded Baptism In the Parish is that of Catherine Murray, of Myall Creek Station, 18th June, 1882, baptised by Fr Salvador.
The first marriage recorded is that of William Reeves and Marian Hufrey (I have been informed that this should be ‘Hussey’ – but there is no doubt about the spelling in the Register), both of Coolatai, 26th June, 1882. Recorded marriages of BINGARA RESIDENTS in the early years include Anna Macey ’82, Mary lane
Norris ’82, John Joseph Lyons and Mary Anna Bourke 1883, Ellen McManus 1887, John Arndell ’88, Thomas Butler and Isabella Read 1888, John McDermott and Mary Read 1889.
The first recorded death is that of John Read, 15th 1885.
In “Random jottings” (No 17) by Harold Batterham, mention is made of THOMAS DENIS RYAN who came to Bingara in the 1890s and worked as a solicitor for 40 years. No doubt, this is the ‘Mr Ryan’ Fr Clancy speaks about in his letter to Sister Cassimir (previously mentioned). To quote the “Random jottings”: “Widely known and esteemed, he enjoyed an extensive legal practice; he was noted for his sound judicial outlook, his unfailing integrity of character and his profound scholarship . . . . . he identified himself with every movement that had for its object the welfare of the town and district; he held the Presidential Chair of the Bingara District Hospital on a number of occasions The report speaks of his association with the School of Arts, The Bingara Pastoral and Agricultural Association, and that he was known as “the Diggers’ Friend” after World War One. The report continues: ” A devout member of the Catholic Church, his work on behalf of that denomination was a labour of love. The new Convent, for which he worked so hard, was completed shortly before his death.” (ie December, 1936). Mr Barry Armstrong of “Arabanoo”, Bingara, would be a grandson of the late T D Ryan.
BISHOP TORREGGIANI’S “RELATIO” in 1903 ( written in Italian in the year of his death) gives a picture of the state of the Diocese at that time. With reference to our Parish he has this to say:
“BINGERA (now spelt BINGARA) . . . . . Gold, silver, coal, and precious stones are to be found here but mining is expensive and does not pay. We have enlarged the little wooden Church, built a new wooden house for the Priest who fives here and a Convent and School for the Sisters of St Joseph. The total population is presently 879, which includes farmers in the environs.”
The opening of the present St Mary’s Church, in 1907, seems to bring this first 25 years of Parish history to a glorious conclusion.
3. 2nd 25 Years: 1907 – 1932
- Father Collender: 1907-22
- Father T Stephenson: 1922-24
- Father S Burchell: 1924-25
- Father P Walsh: 1925-30
- Father B. O’Brien: 1930-31
- Father P Walsh: 1931-48
ADMINISTRATOR: Father L Mahony: 1920-21
- Father P Condon: 1909-12
- Father L J O’Reilly: 1912-14
- Father B. O’Brien: 1914-16
- Father P Hyndes: 1916-18
MANILLA became a PARISH in 1912.
Between 1909 and 1918, there were TWO PRIESTS in the Parish of Bingara.
When BARRABA became a new PARISH, taking with it the Upper Horton, on 15th August, 1918, Bingara once again reverted to a one Priest Parish.
During this era, besides Masses in the various Churches of the Parish, there were also Mass centres in the homes. One example of this was the Butler residence at ‘Boxhill’, on the lower Horton. Here Mass was celebrated monthly, for a number of years, from 1907 of thereabouts.
In 1911, Fr Collender became the first Priest in the Diocese to buy a motor car. In 1920, every Priest in the Diocese, except one, was using a car. According to “A History of St Patrick’s Church, Walcha”, Father J O’Connor, appears to have had a good horse, for it is noted there that he purchased his first car in 1927.
Around 1915, the 2ND PRESBYTERY brick, was built. The old Presbytery was converted into a Convent 2ND CONVENT). The tool shed at the back of the present Presbytery would seem to have been the laundry of this particular Convent.
Meanwhile, in BINGARA, the search for gold and other minerals continued. The NEW HOSPITAL was opened in 1915, and Councillor JOHN BYRNES (1st Mayor in 1889 ) was to become mayor for the 11th occasion in 1919. ELECTRICITY arrived for the town in 1928.
In 1916, SCHOOL pupils totalled 84, two Boarders, and 26 music pupils. The number of SISTERS remained constant at four. One of the boarders was the present Mrs L Sunday (a well known identity in Delungra) who went on to acquit herself well in the musical field.
Some of the SISTERS in this period, and since gone to their eternal reward, included:
- Sister M Gaetano (c 1909)
- Sister M Gwendoline (Tobin)
- Sister M Vincentia (Flynn)
- Sister M Patrick
- Sister M Christina
- Sister M Camillus (Cullen)
- Sister M Catherine
BISHOP O’CONNOR’S ACCOUNT OF THE DIOCESE – 1921
With reference to Bingara: : “BINGARA is an old mission. However, there was no resident Priest in Bingara when I came on the scene.” (ie 1879. The Bishop had been Administrator at Armidale for 24 years before he became the third Bishop of the Diocese). “It can now boast of a handsome Church, beautiful Presbytery, a nice Convent and a good School…” The other part of this Account was quoted previously.
In 1927, DELUNGRA was detached from Inverell and added to the Bingara Parish. One of the significant events in Delungra history was the opening of the railway line through there in 1901. This contributed in no small way to its growth. Mass originally was celebrated in the hall. In 1911 or thereabouts the FIRST CHURCH was built.
It occupied the corner of Inverell and Gwydir Street, on the property now owned by Mr R Kent.
During this 25 year period (or perhaps a little before) belong a few RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS from DELUNGRA ‑ nuns either baptized in Delungra and/or lived there viz:
- Sister M Genevieve (Gallagher) – Gunnedah Mercy
- Sister M Cyril (Lennon) – Gunnedah Mercy
- Sister M Josephine (Kent) – Gunnedah Mercy
- Sister M Winifred (Kidd) Lochinvar Josephite
- Sister M Cecilia (McGrath) Little Sisters of the Poor
- Sister M Patricia Bartley – Sisters of St Joseph
At BINGARA on 16/1/1911, Lucy McCosker was baptised – later to become Sister Rosalie of the Lochinvar Sisters of St Joseph.
It could be added here that the above was a sister of Monsignor McCosker (mentioned previously). In fact, three of the family entered the Religious Life.
To date, no record can be found of any particular celebration for the golden jubilee of the Parish in 1932.
4. 3rd 25 Years: 1932-1957
- Father P Walsh 1931-48
- Father J P O’Connor 1949-52
- Father T Leahy 1952-53
- Father J Maron 1953-57
- Father J Conroy: 1947 (c 12 months)
- Father P Doherty 1948-49 (3 or 4 months)
- Father E Meehan 1952 (3 or 4 months)
TO BE OR NOT TO BE?
Although not appearing on the above lists, Monsignor J M O’Connor, currently Parish Priest of West Tamworth, deserves at least an honourable mention. Towards the end of 1952, with the transfer of Fr J P O’Connor to Armidale as Administrator, Fr J M O’Connor was appointed Parish Priest of Bingara. After making two trips from West Tamworth with his belongings, Fr J M O’Connor was at the point of exercising his ministry in his new Parish when news came through of the death of his Parish Priest in West Tamworth, Fr D Carrol. Fr O’Connor was asked to return to West Tamworth for a while, plans were eventually changed, and Fr J M O’Connor never did take up that appointment at Bingara.
According to local identities, early in this period, SUNDAY MASS was celebrated FORTNIGHTLY in Bingara. Presumably, the Priest attended Warialda and its environs on the alternate Sundays.
In 1938, WARIALDA became a PARISH of its own, as did ASHFORD taking with it parts formerly serviced by Bingara, eg Gramen. From then on, Bingara would have reverted to weekly Sunday Mass (I presume?)
Somewhere in the thirties (c 1935), the SANCTUARY and SACRISTY of the present St Mary’s Church replaced the old wooden structure of the first Church.
Between 1949-52 FURTHER RENOVATIONS took place: NEW TABERNACLE (donated by Boyle family) 1949; new STATIONS OF THE CROSS donated by different families; Church painted and NEW LIGHTING 1951; FANS 1952.
On Sunday, 10th January, 1937, the NEW CONVENT (4TH CONVENT? – present Presbytery) was opened. During its construction, the Sisters moved from their old Convent (previously mentioned) which was demolished, and rented a house near the Gwydir River – 3RD CONVENT? (This would seem more feasible than another record stating that the old Convent was moved to the Gwydir River site). It meant a long walk for the Sisters to the School. In the report that follows – Bingara Advocate 13/1/37 – the 60 years probably is meant to indicate the approximate age of the building. Records show that the old building had been used as a Convent for about 22 years, that is, from the building of the second Presbytery around 1915. To quote the article in the said Bingara Advocate:
“The old landmark, which has served as a Convent in Bingara for the past 60 years, has disappeared and in its place has sprung up a new modern brick building which will in future take its place. The new building was erected by Mr B M Wade of Inverell at the complete cost of £1550. It contains seven rooms and a spacious sleeping out verandah. The Catholic community considered the old building had outlived its usefulness and for some time functions have been organised for the purpose of raising funds to replace it with a new one.”
“On Sunday last their goal was realized when His Lordship, Bishop Coleman, blessed and dedicated the new Convent. There was a large attendance despite the inclement weather and everyone seemed pleased that the work had become an actual fact. The Sisters are at present holidaying at the Mother House in Glen Innes and return next week to reside in their new home and prepare for the school year.”
On the 7th May, 1939, the NEW CHURCH AT DELUNGRA was blessed and opened by Bishop Coleman. This familiar landmark on the hill overlooking Delungra was dedicated to ST PATRICK. The Bell tower of the old Church is still being used at the new Church.
The OLD CHURCH – according to Delungra Parishioners – was moved to Cherry Tree Hill where, in the course of time, it was ‘blown over’ by the wind.
SCHOOL statistics for 1942 show that the number of pupils had lowered to 70, and boarders were no longer catered for Sister Bonaventure is recorded as being at the School in 1943-47.
On the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians – 24/5/51 – there was a special Jubilee celebration marking 50 YEARS of the SCHOOL (old School of Arts acquired by Fr Clancy in 1901). Celebrations included a Missa Cantata (Sung Mass) with a children’s ceremony afterwards consisting ol the erection of a new flag pole and blessing of the flag, etc.
In 1950, there was quite a deal of correspondence between Fr O’Connor and John P Gannon, a Newcastle architect, regarding PLANS for a NEW CATHOLIC SCHOOL at Bingara. During this time, donations for the School Building Fund were being sought – 2 bales of wool from the King family are mentioned. The EXISTING SCHOOL had been moved to a NEW FOUNDATION. New chairs, desks and a piano had been procured for the school in early 1952. A short note attached to the said correspondence, dated 15/4/52 and signed by Fr O’Connor tells the outcome of these plans: “I wrote Gannon informing him that the Bishop had decided to POSTPONE INDEFINITELY BUILDING OF THE NEW SCHOOL owing to declining numbers attending school and no prospect of improvement in the near future.” (The capitals have been added by me for emphasis).
Apart from the official Church Registers of Baptism, Confirmations, Marriages and Funerals – which all date back to the foundation of the Parish in 1882 – there is nothing of consequence in Parish records before 1949. Since 1949, with the preservation of the Sunday Mass notice books and later, Mass sheets, we are able to determine accurately – in most cases – the dating of important events in the history of the Parish.
Though nothing to date can be found before 1949 to support the fact, there was no doubt in Fr O’Connor’s mind that the PRESENT ST MARY’S CHURCH was dedicated to OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS. In the Church notice book of that time, each year when the Feast occurred, OUR LADY HELP OF CHRISTIANS is noted as Patroness of Australia and PATRONESS OF THIS CHURCH. As mentioned previously, the golden jubilee celebrations of the School took place on this Feast of Our Lady, and in August, 1951, a picture of Our Lady Help Of Christians was placed over the Altar in remembrance of the Parish Mission just ended. This title of Our Lady is listed as the title of the Church in the official Visitation Book of Bishop Doody in those days.
The 1950s were the times of house parties and functions galore to raise funds for the Church and the School. Many of the names mentioned as playing leading roles in these fields are still with us today and ready to give extra assistance. The Corcoran and Fordham families, long since left the Parish, are mentioned quite often.
For many years the Sisters of St Joseph travelled with the Priest to DELUNGRA on Sundays to instruct the children after Mass. BISHOP DOODY was anxious to secure a Community of Sisters of St Joseph for a new Catholic School at Delungra and to this effect wrote to Mother Leone, the Mother General, in 1953. When told that 1957 would be the earliest these Sisters could staff a School there, the Bishop was able to secure a Community from the Gunnedah SISTERS OF MERCY. And so, on the 27/3/55, the FOUNDATION STONE OF THE DELUNGRA CATHOLIC SCHOOL WAS BLESSED and the SCHOOL OPENED in 1956 by Bishop Doody. Fr Maron was the Parish Priest.
The first Confirmation Class from this school, in 1956, comprised Gregory, Gerard and Jane Lennon, Leonie and Joan McGrath, Donald Fox, Brian Collins, Denis Foot, Catherine Aitchison, Enid O’Brien, Annette Maher and Marlene Chapman.
THREE RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS belong to this 25 year period viz:
DAVID PERRETT (now Fr Perrett, Parish Priest of Guyra) was baptized on 11th September, 1937, in Warialda Church whilst Warialda was still a part of the Bingara Parish.
The late FATHER DAVID TEGGINS lived in Delungra for a few years.
TED WILKES was baptized at Bingara on 24th January, 1954. Ted is at present (1982) studying for the Priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Manly. He is due to be ordained Deacon this year and Priest next year, for the Diocese of Armidale.
In BINGARA, 1940 (approx) saw the commencement of the
reticulated Water Supply, and in 1944, the Gwydir Shire and the Municipality of Bingara were amalgamated to form the BINGARA SHIRE COUNCIL.