By Kate Mulholland,
St Dominic’s Parish, Melton
ON 18 APRIL, Melton Shire invited Fr Michael Moody and the St Dominic’s parishioners to council chambers for the inaugural Melton Shire Heritage Awards for our ‘little’ Church of St Dominic’s.
The intention of the Heritage Awards is to recognise and celebrate projects, events or people that contribute positively to the shire’s heritage.
The actual award presented by the mayor was commissioned from sculptor Craig MacDonald, who is master founder of the Garage Art Foundry in Elphinstone in central Victoria. The bronze in the casting represents a very distinctive aspect of Melton’s heritage—dry-stone walls—and the figures represent the partnership between the heritage custodians and the rest of the community who benefit from the conservation and care of our shared heritage.
St Dominic’s church, Smith Street, is representative of the Victorian Early English Gothic Revival style in its steeply pitched gable roof, together with the minor gable porch at the front and the rear gabled vestry that projects at the side. Other intact or appropriate qualities include the face brick-wall construction, slate roof tiles, modest eaves, pointed-arched diamond leadlight windows, pointed-arched lancet window with rendered drip mould in the gable end, face brick buttresses with rendered copings, vertical timber-boarded and pointed arched doors, decorative iron hinges to the porch doors and the crosses that adorn the gable ends.
St Dominic’s church is one of only three remaining 19th-century churches in the Shire of Melton, and the only one to be constructed in unrendered brick. It is recognised and valued by the local Catholic community of Melton as a symbol of their faith and their history of local participation in faith education.
We found it fitting that on the day that we celebrated this award, our new church, St Catherine of Siena, was on its first day of construction.
Kate Mulholland is assistant parish secretary at St Dominic’s Parish, Melton.
Photo 1 supplied by St Dominic's Parish, Melton.
Photo 2 by David Torrington/MSP Photography copyright 2012