(Back, from left) Ron Brown, Avon Drover, Graham Reid, Merilyn Menzies and (front) past church organist Estelle Ezzy.
(Back, from left) Ron Brown, Avon Drover, Graham Reid, Merilyn Menzies and (front) past church organist Estelle Ezzy. Gerard Walsh

Local church celebrates 150 years

ESTELLE Ezzy played the organ at St Augustine's Anglican Church, Leyburn, in the 1940s and returned for the 150th anniversary of the parish on Saturday.

“I was a Kirby at the time,” she said.

“My (future) husband was in the navy, he drew a block at Wandoan, we married and moved there.”

“I have a lot of memories of this church, I was baptised, confirmed and married here,” Mrs Ezzy said.

Bishop Rob Nolan, the Western region bishop for the Brisbane Diocese and a former student of Slade school, Warwick, said, while the church was 140 years old, the parish was 150 years.

“Services weren't in a church for the first 10 years,” Bishop Nolan said.

Fr David Snape, formerly of Allora and now army chaplain at Oakey, travels to Leyburn once a month for a Sunday service and to Millmerran each fortnight.

He said the parish was established at Leyburn but the town didn't take off as expected due to the railway line going through Pittsworth.

“In the 1920s, Leyburn became part of Pittsworth parish and is now part of Millmerran.

"I have thought today about how much the area would have changed if the railway had gone through.”

“This is a wonderful loving congregation to be a part of,” Fr Snape said.

The anniversary celebrations attracted a crowd of 108.

A history prepared for the celebrations stated that Rev Joshua Jones called tenders in 1870 for fencing and erecting a church, designed by architect Richard Suter, to be built in Dove St.

Rev Jones remained long enough to see the dedication of the church of St Augustine of Canterbury on September 7, 1871, by Bishop Tufnell.

The history, which was distributed on Saturday, stated that at the time of separation, Leyburn was the sixth largest settlement in the new state of Queensland.



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