Mother Mary Vincent Whitty of the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Brisbane with Bishop James Quinn on 10th May 1861, marking the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between the sisters and Queensland's Catholics. Mother Mary Vincent died in 1892, and so she didn't survive to see the construction of the building below, the Mount Carmel Convent at Wynnum.
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
This nunnery for the Sisters of Mercy was designed by Brisbane architects Hall and Dods and built in 1915 for a cost of £8,000 by a Mr R Juster. Robin Dods from Hall and Dods was in a very ecclesiastical phase, because he was also working on St Brigid's Catholic Church at Red Hill and the Anglican St John's Cathedral around this time. The convent is situated directly across the road from Guardian Angels Church, the local Catholic parish church, built in 1905 to a design by Richard Gailey. Here we have two of Brisbane's iconic architects in a face-off on Bay Terrace at Wynnum! I'll show you Gailey's church tomorrow.(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
For a while there was a secondary school operating here too, but it was closed when the number of students started to decline. The original building is still in use as a convent, although fewer nuns live here these days. It also doubles as a holiday home for religious personnel - its proximity to the fresh sea air of Moreton Bay should make it perfect for that.
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EDIT: This building has been listed for sale. You can see the details, plus some great exterior and interior images, here.
Next: Across the road