About two months ago I sent an email off into the ether in the general direction of the Anglican Church Archives in Brisbane, posing questions about our block, the church we have been told was there and the burial. I had long given up hope that I would get a response, imagining my email sitting in some dusty inbox in the depths of the archives with not even an ape-like librarian to take care of it.
Then out of the blue a few days ago I got a reply that succinctly questioned my postal address as information previously posted in response to my question had been returned, addressee unknown. I replied with my work postal address and jeepers if an envelope didn't arrive today!
It contained four pieces of paper, a lovely purple with comps slip, a two page photocopy of The Crow's Nest Parish Paper - February 1947 (notice the apostrophe in Crows!) and a printout from the Crows Nest Parish Year Book 1911-1952.
The printout reads as follows:
The Parish Paper lists the Parish Churches including St Hilda the Abbess, Anduramba. It has this excerpt:
Could those whispers have been - hey lets take this church away! Who knows. But by the end of my reading here we have more information. The church was called St Hilda's and we have confirmed dates of its existence and removal. And a location where it currently is!
I jumped straight on the web to see if by chance I could stumble across a photo of the church in its new home, only to meet with immense frustration. The keen eyed of you may have noticed that in the yearbook printout above the new location of the church has two distinct spellings:
Maclaglan or Maclagan
Impatient to the end I quickly typed the first option, not noticing the differences and was thwarted! Not a single google response to a town called Maclaglan. How could this be I thought? This is simply not possible! So back to the Anglican archives I went to check if they still registered a church there, was it still a town? Yes, it was, but now according to the Anglicans with an e - Maclagen. Confused much? Imagine how the people who actually live there feel!
So search for that I do - and still nothing, nada, zip! In frustration, in fury, I return to the paper and in midst curse of the tree it was pulped from, I notice the difference... one l, not two! Maclagan. So back to google and success! Hundreds, no thousands of results, mostly completely useless but confirmation that the place exists! It has a general store, public toilets (thank you Commonwealth Government Public Toilet Maps) and if I really wanted to I could buy realestate there! It turns out that Maclagan is a small town west of Crows Nest (now part of the Toowoomba Mega Council, so technically our neighbours!), just south of the Bunya Mountains in Rosalie Shire. And there are three churches there! So a new adventure has been added to our list of things to do! We will definitely have to head out to see what St Hilda looks like!
And Saint Hilda! Next step on my researching oddysey was to find out a little more about the church's namesake. I was happily reading away on Saints and Angels dot com about a strong willed young royal who commanded armies of men when my eye drifted to the top of the page and the entry:
Feastday - November 17
For the non-Flowers of the readers that is none other than Dominic's birthday! Yep! The one day of the year when all good practicing religious types venerate the life of our Hilda, is also the day we venerate the life of our Dominic!
OK Universe We Hear You Already!
This uncanny coinkydink follows on from some other strange goings on - some of you will have heard the stories, others perhaps not. There was the large black crow that overflew us on a visit to the block, circled, landed in the tallest tree of the block, grasped us in his beady eye and cawed with command. Then flew off. Ok - we thought, the crows of Crows Nest know we are here.
Then there was the trip to the bottle shop just after returning from the trip to the block where we met Tom, our neighbour. Contemplating the reds, I spied a lovely bottle with the name Church Block and in excitement called Dom over to see! Only to have pointed out by him that right next to it on the shelf was a bottle called 80 Acres. The significance I hear you asking? Only that we have bought The Old Church Block and our lovely neighbour Tom is the proud owner of eighty acres! Couldn't make it up if I tried!
So stay with us on this magical mystery tour! Who knows where we will end up!
Oh and a quick postscript - have been in contact with the council in Toowoomba and have had confirmation that no planning permission is required for dam and swale earthworks, and we will be able to live in a caravan on the block for up to one year during construction! Yay!
We have been working on home designs also and are pretty happy with our latest concoction, a longhouse-pod hybrid. Check it out below (click on it for a larger version).