Twin towns to celebrate 150th with gala concert

The Australian Rugby Choir

The Australian Rugby Choir

The twin towns of Harden Murrumburrah will mark the 150th birthday of one of its historic Catholic churches with a music concert.

The concert to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the Parish St Mary’s, Murrumburrah, will be held in its Harden sister church St Anthony’s at 2pm on Sunday, 21 October.

The church, which holds about 600 people, has not hosted such an event before. All members of the community are welcome and entry is by gold coin donation, proceeds to farmer’s drought appeal.

The Australian Rugby Choir with more than 40 male voices will come from Canberra to feature at the concert.

Other performers will include Drew Ashley, from Canberra, who will perform songs from the Phantom of the Opera and Frank Sinatra, Hilltops soprano Julie O’Connor, musical director of the Australian Rugby Choir Rachel Campbell, teenage artist Harry Cleverdon, Trinity School choir and the Butt family with Greg Jamieson and Oscar Smith.

The then Bishop of Goulburn William Lanigan blessed and laid the foundation stone of St Mary’s Church on 27 September, 1868.

In the late-1800s priests travelled on Saturday by train from Cootamundra to celebrate Sunday Mass, returning home the following day.

With the increase in the Catholic population, St Mary’s was extended in 1895 with 14ft of stonework added to the original aisle and the massive granite bell tower built.

The additions were funded in the main from a bequest by an Irish resident Mrs James Murray.

The stone was quarried at Demondrille and carted with bullock teams, and horses and drays by John Shea.

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A parish lunch in September and an anniversary Mass in November will also be held to mark the historic occasion.





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