Our Travel pics series this week has been I for Innisfail – and given that today is Sunday, it seems appropriate that we feature the Mother of Good Counsel church.
As is often the case, this Catholic church sits on the highest point in the town, overlooking Innisfail.
There was an existing Catholic church on this site – but like much of the town, it was blown away by the cyclone of 1918.
It took another decade before this magnificent structure was completed, but it has been an attraction for locals and visitors ever since.
Father Michael Clancy was the Parish Priest at the time of the cyclone, and he was apparently indefatigable in getting it rebuilt in a combination of Art Deco and Neo Gothic styles. In many ways, Good Counsel was his baby – and he is buried in front of its altar, having died of a stroke while labouring to build the retaining wall you can see in our image.
It is 85 years since Fr Clancy died – and yet old-timers in the town still speak of him fondly.
Of course, that could be because Mother Of Good Counsel church also spawned the Good Counsel College, also seen in today’s picture.
It is a school that had an enormous impact in keeping the Catholic tradition alive – probably not surprising in a town that has an Irish name, and a history of Italian immigration!