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History of “the Barney Mass” in the Brisbane Catholic Bushwalking Club.


(From the Third Annual Report of the Club, March 1961)

The first celebration of the Mass on Mount Barney. For the first time in the history of the Club, Holy Mass was celebrated outdoors by the Club Chaplain Father W. Hays. The site selected for this wonderful event was Mt Barney and a party of 58 club members and visitors participated in the trip which was held on Exhibition Wednesday, 17th August 1960.
Setting out from a campsite a short distance from the Bushwalkers Ridge (now known as Peasants Ridge), on a bright sunny morning, the main party of 40 reached the saddle between East and West Peaks at 11.30 am, selected a site and set up a satisfactory altar of flat rocks a short distance up East Peak. There the necessary equipment, vestments etc. (which for carrying purposes had been divided among the various members of the party in order that everyone might participate more fully in the event) were made ready.
The location was one of beauty and inspiration to the participants in the Mass which commenced at noon following the arrival of the second party numbering 18, which had ascended by way of North Ridge. Peter Lillis and John Power served at the mass. During Mass Father Hayes spoke briefly of the important events through the ages which had taken place on mountains and of the significance of the present Mass.
Afterwards a cairn of stones was built to mark the spot on which Mass had been celebrated and permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities for a plaque commemorating the occasion to be affixed to this cairn.

Byron Moss.


By Raoul Mellish (from the 25th Anniversary booklet)

On the Saturday afternoon of May 13, 1961, a brass plaque commemorating the Mass said by Fr Hayes on Mt Barney on Exhibition Wednesday of the previous year, was set in the rock used as an altar. This rock has now come to be known as the “Mass Rock”.
As Mt Barney is a National Park, special permission for this was obtained from the Minister for Forestry and Agriculture. The work of setting the plaque took most of the afternoon, as the rock had to be cut back to a level recess and drilled to take the holding screws, and it was not until the last ray of day was shafting golden on high battlements of the mountain, that the job was completed. Also set in the rock just below the plaque was a metal Club badge left at the site last Easter by Father Hayes who was paying his last visit there before going to Ireland. A log book in a muntz metal container was left at the site and its opening entry reads :- “ A record for all those who pass by this place on the magnificent mountain. Commenced Saturday May 13th 1961”
The party spent the Saturday night in the old University Hut with a roaring log fire to take the chill out of the early winter air. At dawn on the Sunday morning, on leaving the hut, John Power and I were struck with the sight of the Morning Star shining large and bright in the grey sky just above the crest of East Peak somewhat towards the North Peak. It was a strange coincidence for us to see the “Star” in this position from behind the East and North Peaks, the reverse of the way we had visualized it for the Club badge.
As we started to climb the dark slope of the East Peak to gain the summit for sunrise, the West Peak was just beginning to turn golden under the first light of the day, while overhead two great eagles were planeing in the updraft of the fresh cold air blowing up the slopes of the mountain. This was the inspiration of the poem which John Power wrote in Ireland, just before commencing his studies for the priesthood at the Abbey at Loughrea, County Clare.
DUCE MARIA See! She softly sheds her light, Hung in the filmy veil of night; And smiles with sweet serenity, To guide us into the portals of eternity. She, the evening star, our Queen, Before all ages, promised she had been; And ever, more shalt never cease to be, Through her, may yet we know, the Infinite Majesty. By Fr. John Power.


Why Climb a Mountain for a Mass ?

The exact reason for the Club’s tradition of a pilgrimage to a mountain top for the Annual Mass seems to have been misplaced in the mists of time. It certainly seems like a good idea but I thought there may be some special reason. I did some research in the old Club records that I could locate. I found the records of when the first mass was held but it didn’t explicitly state the rationale behind the idea of a Mass on Mt Barney.
Perhaps the Club was simply adopting the seemingly common practice of making a pilgrimage to a mountain. Throughout the world in many cultures mountains are viewed as links between humans and the spiritual world. To the people of many faiths, the act of travelling to a sacred site for the purpose of religious observance is itself a spiritual experience. For many religious pilgrims, the arrival at a sacred site is the goal of the pilgrimage. But for others, the act of travelling to a sacred site for the purpose of religious observance is itself a spiritual experience; the journey itself constitutes a personal spiritual experience.
A Pilgrimage is always a search for God and God’s goodness. True pilgrimage has to do with a change of heart. The outward journey serves to frame an inner journey: a journey of repentance and rebirth; a journey which seeks a deeper faith, greater holiness; a journey in search of God.
The Club’s first Chaplain was a Father William Hayes who was from Ireland and perhaps he was following the tradition in Ireland where there are several well known pilgrimages of climbing a mountain and celebrating Mass on top.
The most famous pilgrimage in Ireland is at Croagh Patrick where there is a yearly pilgrimage in commemoration of St Patrick. Reportedly Saint Patrick spent 40 days of Lent on top of the mountain as a means of converting Ireland to Christianity. (See article about Croagh Patrick.)
For the early Christian monks, the concept of pilgrimage was closely tied with the Christian notion of penance. Monks would often embark on pilgrimages as a way of seeking out a place which would reveal God to them.
In Ireland men and women soon took up the practice of pilgrimage as a means of discovering their own path to God. Along their way, pilgrims would leave tangible signs of their journey such as pilgrims’ stones, which are rudely fashioned crosses, or small mounds of stones called cairns. The stones represented either a prayer or the completion of the pilgrimage. The Celtic pilgrims were searching for a deeper faith and an inner peace with God.
One of the other major themes of Celtic spirituality: is the immanent presence of God, which means that God is everywhere For Celtic Christians, God was a key part of all things natural and beautiful. Celtic Christians praised God’s design and creation of all things natural. The hills, the sky, the sea, the forests were not God, but their spiritual qualities revealed God and were connected to God. Places where people feel most strongly connected with God’s presence are referred to as 'thin places'. It is in these thin places, like mountain tops, where the seen and unseen worlds are most closely connected and inhabitants of both worlds can momentarily touch the other. In Celtic spirituality these 'thin places' are places where it is possible to touch and be touched by God, as well as the angels, saints and those who have died.
I can readily understand that Mount Barney with its own unique atmosphere could be regarded as having the feel of a 'thin place'
Phil Murray

Pilgrimages in Ireland

Croagh Patrick - Renowned as Ireland's holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, or the Reek as it is known by locals, dominates the skyline on Mayo's west coast and from the summit the unobstructed view of Mayo's beautiful landscape attracts pilgrims and hill-climbers from near and far. The mountain is 765 m high. Croagh Patrick is on the west coast of Ireland and is situated near the town of Westport in County Mayo, Ireland. It is approximately 92 km north of Galway and 230 km west of Dublin. The main pilgrimage route originates in the village of Murrisk, 8km outside Westport.
In the Irish Christian tradition the ascent is undertaken as an act of penance for wrongdoing, and many of the pilgrims climb barefooted or even on their knees. For the Celtic peoples of Ireland it was the dwelling place of the deity Crom Dubh and the principal site of the harvest festival of Lughnasa, traditionally held around August. The ancient practice at Mt. Croagh Patrick had nothing to do with matters of penance and supposed wrongdoing. The mountain was a sanctuary for the giving of thanks and the celebration of life's abundance. In particular the dome shaped mountain was a natural representation of a pregnant woman’s abdomen.
Croagh Patrick holds a unique place in Irish Catholic history thanks to St Patrick. Legend has it that as he laboured up the mountain the demon Corra descended upon him. St. Patrick fought the demon with his staff and finally banished the beast by throwing his silver bell at her. She blackened the bell, turning it to iron and then fled screeching to Lough Derg. Upon reaching the summit, St. Patrick drew himself up and offered blessings to the land of Eire and her people. Holding aloft his bell, he rang and called aloud to banish the snakes of the land to the great green sea of gloom. From the rocks and the land the serpents of the island fled in fear, never to return. For 40 nights St. Patrick held vigil on the great mountain, praying and fasting to save the island people from their heathen ways. His pilgrimage to the mountain gained the converted the promise that those who perform penance shall surely not go to hell.
The belief that penance, especially in the form of physical denial or suffering, brings God,s forgiveness is ingrained in the Irish character and helps explains why pilgrimages are popular. There are those who suggest that the banishing of the snakes is a metaphor for the banishing of the heathen priests from Ireland. It is estimated that nearly one million pilgrims climb to the summit each year; as many as forty thousand climb the mountain on the last Sunday in July.


The History of the Foundation of the Brisbane Catholic Bushwalking Club

The Club in its early days adopted many of the traditions from the Sydney Catholic Bushwalking Club but how did the Brisbane Club get started ? The genesis of the Club seems to have been set in motion when a Father William Hayes was assigned to the Parish of Yeronga in 1957. There he met with a Raoul Mellish, an experienced Bushwalker.
One day they were discussing the striking appeal of a high mountain peak named Mt. Barney and decided to venture out on a few bushwalks. Early in September 1957 they were visiting the Glasshouse Mountains and after climbing Mt. Beerwah the conversation turned to the idea of forming a Catholic bushwalking club to cater for both the spiritual and material needs of bushwalkers.
On the last Sunday of October 1957 a short notice appeared in the Catholic Leader inviting intending members to contact Fr Hayes. Another notice appeared in the Leader to advise that the first outing of the club would be to Mt. Tibrogargan on Sunday 1st December 1957.
The trip was attended by 27 people. According to the 25th Anniversary booklet it is on this day that the Club could be said to have been established. The first meeting was held on Thursday 10th January 1958. The Club’s constitution was modeled on the Catholic Bushwalking Club of Sydney and we also adopted their Patron “Our Lady of the Way” as the patron of the Brisbane Club.
As a point of interest, Raoul Mellish was the artist who did the drawing of Mt. Lindsay that the Club now uses for the front cover of the Jilalan magazine.
The first year of the Club was very busy with many walks having over 40 people on the trip. The Club has since that time waxed and waned like the moon.
Phil Murray.

Back in September 1957 Fr Willie Hayes of the Yeronga Parish met Raoul, a very keen bushwalker and rockclimber. They quickly came up with an idea to do buskwalk to Mt Beerwah in the Glasshouse Mountains which was Raoul’s favourite haunt. The walk was very successful and the idea was floated - Why not form a catholic bushwalking club. One aim was to have a club that catered for Mass attending. The first step to forming a Club was to advertise a walk and see if anyone was interested in joining in.


So, in the last Sunday in October 1957, a short notice in the Catholic Leader invited intending members or interested people to contact Father Hayes. After receiving several enquiries, things were looking very positive and another notice was inserted in the Leader announcing that the first Club outing would take place on Sunday, 1st of December and the venue was to be Mt Tibrogargan.


The day was extremely hot and hazy but successful nevertheless, and according to the first annual report “the Club could be said to have been established on this date.”


I hope many current and former members can come along and celebrate this significant milestone in the Club.


Back in September 1957 Fr Willie Hayes of the Yeronga Parish met Raoul, a very keen bushwalker and rockclimber. They quickly came up with an idea to do buskwalk to Mt Beerwah in the Glasshouse Mountains which was Raoul’s favourite haunt. The walk was very successful and the idea was floated - Why not form a catholic bushwalking club. One aim was to have a club that catered for Mass attending. The first step to forming a Club was to advertise a walk and see if anyone was interested in joining in.


So, in the last Sunday in October 1957, a short notice in the Catholic Leader invited intending members or interested people to contact Father Hayes. After receiving several enquiries, things were looking very positive and another notice was inserted in the Leader announcing that the first Club outing would take place on Sunday, 1st of December and the venue was to be Mt Tibrogargan.


The day was extremely hot and hazy but successful nevertheless, and according to the first annual report “the Club could be said to have been established on this date.”





OCTOBER 24, 1957




In recent years, bushwalking has become a popular pastime for many Australians. Brisbane already has two bushwalking clubs, providing in various ways, an outlet for people who have felt the urge to really get out into the open, and discover the beauties of mountain and bush in their natural and unspoiled state.


For some years now Sydney has had a variety of bushwalking clubs, including a vigorous Catholic Club. It is felt that a similar Catholic Club should be formed in Brisbane.


There are many places within easy distance of the city which would be suitable for one day trips. Properly organised, full weekend trips could also be arranged in such places, for instance, at Lamington Plateau, where Sunday Mass is often provided.


Having received His Grace’s approval for the formation of a Catholic Club in Brisbane, it is proposed, a sufficient number of interested people forthcoming, to hold an inaugural meeting in early January of next year.


If anyone interested would contact Father Hayes of Yeronga and leave with him the necessary personal details, he or she will be advised in due course of the date and place for this meeting.


In the meantime, arrangements could be made for a preliminary outing, so that prospective members may get to know one another.




THURSDAY DEC 5, 1957 - PAGE 15




On last Sunday, 1st December, Father W. Hayes and twenty-six other prospective members of the proposed Brisbane Catholic Bushwalker's Club went for a days outing to the Glasshouse Mountains. This was the first outing of the new Club.


The site chosen for lunch was a spot beside a pool near the foot of Mount Tibrogargan. In the afternoon a group of twelve, including six of the girls, succeeded in reaching the top.


Visibility from the top was poor owing to the amount of bush-fire smoke in the atmosphere. The only commanding features of the view were the delicate spire of Mount Crookneck and the graceful mass of Mount Beerwah standing out like ghostly silhouettes.


On returning from the hot parched slopes of the mountain, the most welcome feature of the day was the long, refreshing swim in the shaded pool. In the cool of the evening the pleasantly tired party rounded off the day’s activity with a leisurely walk to the station to catch their train.


It is proposed to hold the inaugural general meeting of the Club on Thursday, 16th January, 1958. All those concerned note time and venue of this meeting.


Plans are being made for the first official weekend outing which will be held at O'Reilly’s Lamington Plateau, on the long weekend at the end of January, where Mass will be provided.


In the meantime others interested may leave personal particulars with Father Hayes, Yeronga, phone JW 2134.





The Story of the Club Badge

The Club over its 46 year history has only had the one Club badge . The badge was designed in the first year of the Club. In the Club’s first Annual Report for the year 1958 to 1959 there was an article about the design of the Club badge as follows: The triangle shape of the club badge is a geometric representation of a three peaked mountain which is based on the shape that Mt. Barney displays when viewed from the north east with its three main peaks of East, North and Leaning in descending order from left to right. The badge also represents a characteristic bushwalking setting: a campfire at night with tents behind it, and in the distance a mountain rearing its three-peaked mass against the sky with the evening star shining over it all. The evening star has been taken to represent Our Lady. The morning star is one of Mary’s titles in the Litany. The morning star is also of course the evening star. Her guidance is shown by the three beams of light which descend to the three summits of the mountain peaks and the two tents have been placed so that they are in line with the outer beams while the central fire is in line with the middle beam. The fire symbolizes the enthusiasm of the club and it rises from two pieces of wood in the form of a cross. The Latin motto is “DUCE MARIA” which means “Mary, Our Leader”. It is a constant plea to “Our Lady of the Way, the Club’s patroness , for guidance.
Phil Murray




(Our Lady of the Way)


Painting of Our Lady Of The Way


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia


Madonna Della Strada or Santa Maria Della Strada - Italian meaning Our Lady of the Way, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Way was what the earliest Christians called its community.


The founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, claimed to have been protected by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary during battle in his service as a Basque soldier. It was that intercession that inspired him to establish the religious order that would become known as the “Jesuits”, in order to defend the Roman Catholic Church, launching a Catholic Reformation in response to the Protestant Reformation sparked by the former Roman Catholic priest Martin Luther. She is the patroness of the Society of Jesus religious order (Jesuits) of the Roman Catholic Church.


A famous and the original painting of Madonna Della Strada from the 15th century is enshrined at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, mother church of the Society of Jesus. In 1541, Pope Paul III assigned the church of Our Lady of the Way to the Society of Jesus. It was a small church, but St. Ignatius highly esteemed its location in the heart of Rome.


The Feast Day of Our Lady of the Way is 24th May.



Photo of St Brigid's Church

Compiled from paragraphs & tables from both the Archdiocese History web pages and the Queensland Government's Heritage Register - see both web sites as indicated.

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Old St Brigid's Red Hill church blessed and opened on 30 December



Old Holy Cross Church, Wooloowin, blessed and opened on 11 August.



Boarders residence at Gregory Terrace completed.



Brisbane becomes Archdiocese; Robert Dunne becomes Archbishop.



Holy Cross School was opened in on the corner of Chalk and Morris Streets, Wooloowin, run by the Sisters of Mercy.



Gregory Terrace boarding school moved to Nudgee.



Archbishop's residence, Dara, demolished and a new residence built on the site. The original house had served as Archbishop’s residence since the 1860s.



A separate building for St Stephen’s school is erected. (It has since been restored and is now used for the cathedral offices.)



St Mary's Church, South Brisbane, blessed and opened on 2 July.



The first Mater Hospital is opened in a North Quay building called 'Aubigny': a private hospital accommodating 20 beds.



Old Sacred Heart church, Rosalie, blessed and opened on 23 June.



The Mater Private Hospital is opened.



Mater Public Hospital is opened.



 Foundation stone of St Brigid's, Red Hill, laid on 5 May



James Duhig made co-adjudtor



St Brigid's Church, Red Hill, dedicated and opened on 19 August



St Laurence's school opened.



Foundation stone Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie, laid on 17 June



Robert Dunne dies. James Duhig becomes Archbishop of Brisbane




And combined with paragraphs from: The Queensland Heritage Register, which is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.


St Brigid’s Church is significant as a characteristic part of the inner Brisbane skyline, visible from all directions. Its design by Robin S. Dods was inspired by St Ceciles Cathedral at Albi, France (More about this next month), which the parish building committee had chosen as the model for St Brigid’s. It is an outstanding example, both internally and externally, of the architecture of Robin Dods, It reflects the influence of some of the design theories current in Europe during Dods's early career in Edinburgh, in particular the Arts and Crafts use of materials and the picturesque approach to landscape and siting.


The Church, unconventionally oriented north-south, is prominently situated high on Red Hill and is significant as a self-conscious townscape composition designed to place an acropolis-like skyline on the axis of George Street (now lost since the construction of the Brisbane Transit Centre). Also known for the impressive quality of the interior which is derived from the carefully considered combination of materials, light and scale.


It was built between 1912 and 1914 by prominent builder Thomas Keenan. It replaced an earlier stone structure built in 1877. As the parish had grown to be one of the largest in Brisbane, the church was built to accommodate 1000 people. The parish was largely composed of poor Irish immigrants so that the church became a focal point of the Irish Catholic cause in Queensland.


It is a brick fortress-like building, rectangular, with the chancel, entrance porch and its flanking buttresses semi-octagonal in shape. A single-storeyed vestry protrudes off the west side of the chancel.


Though derived from Albi Cathedral's idiosyncratic style, combining elements of both Romanesque and Gothic traditions, Dods's design owes much to his British Arts and Crafts background and the local climate. Many features of the building, including the high proportions, opening windows with balconies, arches, French doors, and the open chancel area, contribute to a cool environment.


The interior of St Brigid’s is austere and simple in decoration yet grand in dimensions. The detailing and workmanship in brick, stone, wood, glass and metal are austere but refined. Notable features include the timber ceiling, light fittings, gallery, organ, altars and stained glass. However, the original silky oak and leadlight doors running the length of the nave on the east and west walls, and some other fixed glazing, have been replaced with fully glazed areas which allow excessive light into the interior at floor level.


The opening ceremony in 1915 was a significant occasion in the life of the Catholic community in Brisbane, attended by Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne and presided over by Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane. The construction of St Brigid’s was regarded as the coming of age of Catholicism in Brisbane. For Duhig, who was to become renowned as a prolific builder of churches and schools, St Brigid’s was an auspicious beginning.


The original plan included a tower above the chancel but this was not built for lack of funds. L J Harvey's life size statue of St Brigid above the entrance porch, holds a model of the completed church.


Its hilltop position, close to the city centre, makes it a Brisbane landmark.


St Brigid’s Church is significant as an example of Archbishop Duhig's efforts to place churches in prominent positions throughout Brisbane, and as a symbol of the emerging confidence of Catholicism in Queensland which was dominated by Irish immigrants at the time.



The Church That St Brigid’s Was Based On.


The Basilica of Sainte Cecile dominates Albi's skyline with an awe-inspiring presence. The splendour of its workmanship, its thousand years of history, and its sheer size all contribute to the magic of a visitor's first glimpse of this wonder.


From the web site:

And for Photos:

There are more pictures at:



Photo of the Cathedral of Sainte Cecile from the above web site

Interesting Facts:

The Cathedral took two centuries to build -- from 1282 to 1480

She is one of the most visited edifices in France.

She is the largest brick building in the world.


Built by Christian loyalists as a defence against the Cathare Heresy (See: starting in the 13th century, the cathedral is a masterpiece of meridional gothic architecture. One can easily see that she was originally intended to be a fortress.


The contrast between the sober simplicity of the exterior and the sumptuous decoration and detail inside is remarkable.


On the exterior, one can admire the rich portique of Dominique de Florence (circa 1392), the dungeon tower 78 meters tall (finished in 1492, just after the inauguration of the building itself in 1480), and the baldaquin of the entryway (1515-1540).


Amongst the noteworthy features of the interior, the most impressive is perhaps the gigantic mural of the Last Judgement, painted by unknown Flemish artists around 1475-1480. During the same period, French sculptors were completing the Jube and Choir, an ensemble of finely sculpted pierre that includes a magnificent set of polychrome statues.


The frescos on the cathedral's arched ceiling form the largest (97 meters long by 28 meters wide) work of Italian Renaissance painting to be found anywhere in France.


Finally, the classical French organ, built by Christophe Moucherel in 1736 is considered one of the three finest in France.

You can get a map from: by entering France & Albi.


And where is Albi?

In the very south of France, near the Spanish border. Nabonne is on the Mediterranean coast, where it bends east after coming up from Spain.





Red Hill's history has been compiled by local historian, Lesley Jenkins, as a part of the BRISbites community history project.


Aboriginal history

The Turrbal clan occupied the northern side of the Brisbane River. This clan was often referred to by the whites as the 'Duke of York's' clan and their leader was called the Duke of York. There were camping grounds around the Breakfast creek area, and the explorers Oxley and Cunningham met members of the clan at the mouth of the Creek in 1824. The main encampment of the Turrbal clan was in 'Yorks Hollow'. This gully passes through Victoria Park and the Royal National Association Showgrounds at Bowen Hills. In the 1860s and 70s Aborigines lived on the slopes of Red Hill.


Urban development

The area developed slowly because its hills made walking more difficult, and slowed the development of public transport to the suburb. In the 1880s a horse drawn bus service was started which made its way via Prospect Terrace in Kelvin Grove to miss the steepest part of the hill, which the horses could not manage.


Red Hill became part of Ithaca Shire, which was created in 1887, with Ithaca raised to the status of a town in 1903. From the 1940s to the late 1960s the area became somewhat derelict before a resurgence of interest created buyers for the area once again.


Notable residents

There have been many important and eccentric residents of Red Hill. Professor Pepper made Brisbane history by trying to make rain by firing a cannon into the atmosphere. George Hall, former editor of the Moreton Bay Courier, once lived near where St Brigid's Church stands. It has also been claimed that John Storie, who built many fine historic homes in Brisbane, lived in Red Hill. In recent years author Nick Earls has immortalised the suburb by writing about it in his book Zig Zag Street.



St Brigid's Roman Catholic Church was built in 1914 to accommodate up to 1000 people. Its hilltop position and grand structure ensured that it was still visible from all directions and the church remains a landmark today.

The Normanby Hotel at 1 Musgrave Road was constructed in 1890 for Brisbane publican Elizabeth Sophia Burton. The Burton family owned the hotel until 1944 and both lived and worked there. Heritage listing now protects the hotel.

Ithaca Creek forms one of the boundaries of Woolcock Park. The Park was originally the site of Judge Woolcock's home, which was demolished many years ago.


Reference: Lesley Jenkins, BRISbites, 2000




Below is a snippet from a 9-page letter by Fr Willie Hayes, the founder and first Chaplain of the Club, about his time in Australia.


“The most meaningful and fulfilling Club event for me was the first Mass on Mount Barney. That was on Exhibition Wednesday, 1960. For many reasons Mount Barney, by that time, had become symbolic and iconic for the Club, as well as being constantly alluring and challenging for the members.


I can’t recall how the idea of having Mass on Barney originated. Mass in the outdoors was a novel idea for that time. Celebrating Mass under the shade of trees would have been fairly commonplace for pioneering priests in the early days of the Australian colonies. In Ireland, during a period in the late 17th century, when the State religion was being imposed and the practice of Catholicism denied, Mass was often celebrated furtively in remote glens and in secluded crevices in the hills and mountains. Suitably and naturally shaped boulders were chosen as make-do altars, and these became known as Mass Rocks. It may have been from discussing such distant occurrences that the idea of having Mass on Barney came—Mass on a Mass Rock in some chosen site on the great mountain.


The club members coming for the great occasion were divided into two groups. One group had arranged to ascend by the Bushwalkers’ Ridge, while the other and smaller group was to come by the North Ridge. Our group had the task of bringing up all the requisites for the Mass, including the consecrated altar stone, which was about a foot square and an inch thick. This was the heaviest item, and was passed from one ruck-sack to another on the way up.

I’m not sure who were involved in the choosing of the site and the actual spot for the Mass, in a rocky gorge some distance above the University Hut. The two groups of members converged there, and, as arranged, the Mass was begun at mid-day. The unique honour I had was deeply moving for me. What an amphitheatre it was for this sacred and unique event!





You may have thought the last few weeks were cold but we still haven’t repeated the cold snap of 1984. See a copy of an article that appeared in Jilalan August 1984.

Phil the Elder.


My feet tread gingerly on the snow covered path as I neared the summit amid swirling ice-laden cloud. The rearing wind buffeted and jostled me.

Climbing in New Zealand, the Himalayas or S.W. Tassie?

No! This experience occurred to me as I followed the track to Mt Mitchell in our own “back yard". It was Wednesday July 4th 1984.

Snow fell at Cunningham's Gap and other sections of the Scenic Rim during that historic cold snap. Snow was also reported' at Sylvester's Lookout, Spicer's Peak and Queen Mary Falls. Light snow began falling at lunchtime on the Tuesday, even at our Headquarters. Most occurred at night.

On Wednesday and Thursday we walked to Bare Rock and Mt Mitchell. The snow covered the ground and vegetation to a depth of a couple of inches near the summits. Patches of snow were seen less than half an hour from the carpark. Little snow remained in the trees due to high winds. Numerous branches and trees were brought down, including one monster with a diameter of over one metre.

I was enthralled to see the rainforest understorey covered by a blanket of white. Tree ferns, palms and vines reminding me of our sub-tropical location were adorned with snow and icy projections. The wind gusts from the south-west were surprising in their strength. Snow still filled the centres of crow's nest ferns and grass trees.

I was most concerned for the small birds flitting around, no doubt confused by the unusual surroundings. Patches of snow were present in some areas till the weekend.

The clean-up and. track repairs that followed were worth the effort, I thought.

John Carter, Jilalan August 1984 Page 6.