Parish Celebrates 130 Years
by Geoff Barrett
The Catholic Parish of St. Joachim’s, Lidcombe, celebrated its 130 years on Tuesday 26 May 2015. The principal Celebrant for the Mass was His Grace Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney. Other celebrants included Father Eduardo Orilla, Parish Priest, Father Ray Farrell, Dean of Auburn-Bankstown, Fr. Laurie Cauchi, Dean of Randwick-Botany, and other priests who have served or are serving in the area.
Other guests included civil leaders Mr Luke Foley, State Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for the Arts, Shadow Minister for Racing, Shadow Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Auburn, Ms Barbara Perry, former State Member for Auburn and Cr Irene Simms representing the Mayor of Auburn, Cr Ronney Oueik.
Also present were Mr Tony Corkeron, President, Sydney Archdiocese General Council, St Vincent de Paul Society, and many past and present parishioners and friends of the parish.
The Parish of St. Joachim’s was established in May 1885 in what was then the suburb of Rookwood. The first Church (which also served as a school) was built in Mary Street in 1886. When this was found to be too small for the growing parish, a new Church was opened in John Street in 1926. Final extensions to that building were completed in 1953.
Over its 130 years, there were one hundred priests who resided in the Parish. This included the three monsignors, Msg. Robert McElligott, Msg. Francis Lloyd, Msg. John Meaney. Collectively these three led the parish for over 70 years.
We were also fortunate in having descendants of the pioneering Keating family present on the night. The Keatings offered their home for Mass and schooling prior to the parish being established. It was their land that was returned to the priests to build the existing Parish Church
After Mass, guests and parishioners were invited to the parish hall for light refreshments. Thanks is given to the Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club for their generosity in catering for the event.
A photo gallery had been set up against one wall, a screen was set up on the stage showing photos of past and present parishioners, priests and events. Souvenirs and a book covering the history of the Parish were also on sale.
Overall the event was a great success and was enjoyed by all who attended.