Reminiscing about the history of Worsley

Friends of Worsley members Lawrie Roberts and Cath Dowdell are hoping to see many new and returning faces at St David's Catholic Church this weekend for the annual Back to Worsley Day. Photo: Ashley Bolt
Friends of Worsley members Lawrie Roberts and Cath Dowdell are hoping to see many new and returning faces at St David's Catholic Church this weekend for the annual Back to Worsley Day. Photo: Ashley Bolt

The Friends of Worsley community group is hoping to see many familiar, and even new faces, this weekend when it hosts its annual Back to Worsley Day on Sunday, November 11.

Friends of Worsley member Lawrie Roberts said the day, which has been held annually in November for around 30 years, was an important day for the Worsley community.

“It’s all about maintaining that heritage of Worsley and everyone who has lived here,” he said.

Mr Roberts said the day regularly brought people from all over the state who either lived in Worsley themselves or were the descendants of someone who did.

He said the group was expecting at least 30 people to fill St David’s Catholic Church for a morning tea starting at 10.30am, with a church service, mass and picnic lunch to follow later in the day.

Friends of Worsley member Cath Dowdell said it would be the only service held at St David’s, which is the oldest surviving bush church in the Collie area, for the year, with a travelling priest being brought in.

She said despite not being regularly used for its original purpose, the church had become the ‘centre for the Worsley community’, with the Friends of Worsley group committed to maintaining the facility for the future.

Mr Roberts said the group had completed a number of projects to restore the church, including replacing windows and the roof, and had turned it into a historical hub, with information boards and photos depicting the history of Worsley and its families.

He said the group had also undertaken the ambitious project of publishing a book about the history of the town, titled Fallen Timber, the profits from which were used to fund maintenance of the church.

Ms Dowdell said the book, which took about two years to complete and was published in 2012, brought the community together to share their memories of the town.

“People came forward with what they could remember about the town, and it was interesting because not everyone had the same memories,” she said.

Mr Roberts said the group hoped to continue with its restoration of the church, along with improving the recreational barbeque area around the church.

Ms Dowdell said the group was hoping to see as many people as possible turn up for the afternoon.

“It’s a great afternoon where we all get together and share stories about Worsley and its history,” she said.

She said everyone was welcome to come to do the day, with morning tea supplied by the Friends of Worsley group and a bring-your-own picnic lunch to follow.