Nationals WA MP and candidate for the seat of Geraldton, Paul Brown has welcomed the official opening of the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre in Geraldton. The opening of the centre coincides with the 100 year anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for the St Francis Xavier Cathedral, which is considered one of Monsignor Hawes finest works.
The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre is a wonderful complement to the St Francis Xavier Cathedral which is an iconic building identifiable to Geraldton,” Mr Brown said.
Representing the Minister for Regional Development Hon Terry Redman MLA at the event, Mr Brown acknowledged the work done by the Roman Catholic Diocese, and the considerable fundraising efforts of the Geraldton community.
“The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre is a wonderful example of how a community can support something that they are very passionate about. In this case, the wonderful legacy that Monsignor Hawes has left throughout the Mid West through built infrastructure,” Mr Brown said.
The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre will house an extensive collection of Monsignor Hawes artefacts currently held by the Geraldton Diocese. This includes original architectural plans, models, sketches, artisanal objects, assorted memorabilia and furniture. Previously, these artefacts have been held without an appropriate display and preservation forum.
“Preservation of these artefacts is important to ensure that the Mid West legacy of Monsignor Hawes lives on, and is shared via the tourism opportunity that the Heritage Centre now offers visitors to the Mid West,” Mr Brown said.
Funding of the $3.6 million project was made possible from:
- Royalties for Regions, with $1.541 million provided through the Mid West Development Commission’s Mid West Investment Plan;
- Lotterywest ($651,038);
- The Roman Catholic Diocese; and
- Community fundraising efforts.
The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre will be the interpretive gateway to the Monsignor Hawes story, and showcase the 23 Monsignor Hawes buildings throughout the Mid West, encouraging locals and visitors alike to visit all 23 sites along the Monsignor Hawes heritage trail.