Queensland Places - All Saints Anglican Church, Erub (Darnley)
The All Saints Anglican Church on Erub dates from 1919. It was constructed below the site of the original London Missionary Society Mission, house and school using local materials, including lime produced from burnt coral as well as basalt. Sited as it is, close to the location of these early mission buildings, ensures that it has a close link to the island’s history. The church building itself has changed and evolved over the years but has long been an important landmark on the island.
The church was originally built under the guidance and direction of local island man, Manai, assisted by a South Sea Islander man named Albert Ware. It underwent significant remodelling in 1963, the roofline was raised and internal walls were extended. Similarly to when it was first built, local limestone from the surrounding reefs was used in this work. Erosion has been an on-going problem for the building, necessitating the construction of a protective stone sea wall, in the mid 1970s, as a means of protecting the church from the effects of strong tides.
All Saints is an important reminder of missionary activity in the Torres Strait and has always had a central role in the annual July 1 “Coming of the Light” celebrations, when islanders and others commemorate the arrival of the London Missionary Society in 1871.
Acknowledging its important to Queensland’s history, the All Saints Anglican Church is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and survives as an important and prominent landmark in Erub’s built environment.
Brian Randall - Senior Librarian, State Library of Queensland