Former parishioner Ellen Barbour, born in Kumbia 87 years ago, and Lily Barr shared the history of the church with the congregation at the end of Mass on Sunday morning
May 24, 2019
Former members of the Kumbia Catholic community travelled from near and far at the weekend to mark the Centenary of the opening of the Our Lady Of Peace church in town.
A special guest was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge who travelled in the footsteps of his predecessor, Archibishop Sir James Duhig, who opened the building in 1919.
Archbishop Coleridge reflected on that day and how things had changed: Archbishop Duhig had caught a train to Yarraman and then hitched a lift with a local publican to Kumbia.
He said there had been Catholics in Kumbia long before 1919 and plans for a church had been discussed.
“But then came the Great War and that threw a spanner in the works,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
It was decided the church would be called “Our Lady Of Peace”, an unusual name but one that suited a community which had “lost sons in the mud of northern France”.
Items in the new church – the altar, a statue and a silver chalice – were donated by parishioners in memory of fallen soldiers.
“The church was a statement of hope,” the Archbishop said. “A statement there was a future beyond the ash heaps, mud heaps and unknown graves.”
The centenary celebrations, which have been over a year in the planning, were kicked off with a community dinner prepared by local caterer Judy Crawford.
On Sunday morning, everyone gathered together again for a special outdoor Mass celebrated by the Archbishop, local parish priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka and six priests who all have connections with the Kumbia church.
This was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony, the planting of a commemorative bottle tree and the release of seven white doves of peace.
Visitors also had the opportunity to browse memorabilia inside the actual church building which has been fully repainted, inside and out.
The floors have also been polished and the church reconfigured to its original layout with an aisle leading to the altar at the front of the building.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Fr Chukwudi Chinaka and Don Barbour, 94, get some help from Elizabeth, 5, and Victoria Smoothy, 3, in cutting the cake … Don was one of the oldest former parishioners present on the weekend, having travelled from Wynnum for the event
The team assembled for the concelebrated Mass … from left, Fr Richard Pascoe, Fr Pat Dowd, Fr Michael Carroll, Fr Chukwudi Chinaka, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Fr Pat Cassidy, Fr Dan Carroll and Fr Dan Grundy – all have been connected in some way to Our Lady of Peace in Kumbia
Archbishop Coleridge unveiled and blessed the Centenary plaque
Former parish priest Michael Carroll with Brian Lenihan
Annette Murphy, Michael Pascoe and parish priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka at the Saturday night dinner
South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell with one of the main organisers of the event, James Curtain, and Kingaroy parishioner Emmanuel Igwe
Margaret Kearney and Pam Radcliffe
Brian O’Reilly and Jenny Gemmell
Michael Mamczur and Peter Verbakel
Bernie Carroll and Merv Ciesiolka
Felicity Jones and April Coogan travelled from Ipswich for the Centenary events
St Mary’s Catholic College music teacher Jane Iszlaub, right, with members of the Kingaroy Parish Fire Pit Youth Mass singers and musicians who played on both Saturday night and during Mass on Sunday
Fr Richard Pascoe with Gayle and Bernie Carroll
Murray Beil with daughters Julie Slater and Denise Fisher before Mass on Sunday
South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and Moya Hayden
Robert Carroll with Fr Dan Carroll, another priest who returned for the celebration
Beck Cross read a short poem about the parish at the tree planting
Archbishop Coleridge plants a bottle tree to mark the centenary
TOP: A large crowd packed into the marquee to enjoy dinner on Saturday night; BOTTOM: Even more returned on Sunday for Mass and the other celebrations