Moore MP Shane Love MLA has welcomed the listing of Toodyay’s Roman Catholic precinct to the State Register of Heritage Places.
Announced today, the heritage listing covers a group of important Stirling Terrace buildings owned by the Catholic Church including The Ship, Mercy House, St Aloysius Building, O’Connor House and St John the Baptist Church.Mr Love said the statutory heritage listing of the long-standing religious and educational institution had been a work in progress for more than six years.
“I am happy to have worked on behalf of the Friends of the Toodyay Catholic Precinct and made representations to the Heritage Minister,” Mr Love said.
“This is a great outcome that will secure the heritage value of these buildings which are an important feature of the Toodyay landscape and town entry statement for those approaching from the eastern end of Stirling Terrace.”
Included in the listing is The Ship, formerly a residence of Toodyay’s resident Medical Officer, Colonial Surgeon Doctor Arthur Growse, which dates back to the 1860s.
In 1902 the Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth purchased The Ship and a neighbouring property for use as a girl’s boarding school by the Sisters of Mercy. The Convent building, Mercy House was built in 1903 with additional boarding facilities constructed in the 1920s to meet growing demand. This included a boy’s combined school and dormitory building, St Aloysius House and an additional girl’s dormitory, O’Connor House.
The Sisters of Mercy occupied the place until 1983 as their convent residence, place of worship and school and as a base for religious education programs and school camps. From 1997 to 2017 the buildings were home to a number of Franciscan friars, the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
Mr Love said the heritage listing had become urgent following moves to subdivide and develop the site earlier in the year.
“I commend the work of the Toodyay community and especially the Friends of the Toodyay Catholic Precinct in securing this listing,” he added.
“Locals and tourists will be able to appreciate this site for generations to come.”