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The Church of the Sacred Heart, Garden Road

Posted by SCe Comments Off on The Church of the Sacred Heart, Garden Road

Church of the Sacred Heart, Garden Road

The Church of the Sacred Heart, nestled among huge pohutukawas in Garden Road, was given by Trixie Wales in memory of her husband Stan. He was an Auckland importer and exporter who was only fifty-two-years-old when he died in 1962. Just before his death, Stan Wales had bought from the Nathans a section neighbouring the family bach. Before the church was built, Catholic masses had been said on Sundays at the Wales’ bach in the Christmas holiday season, with Mr Wales driving into Glen Eden to pick up the parish priest. When the congregation increased in size, the Sunday mass was shifted to the Piha Hall and the Wales children remember having to clean out the lolly papers each Sunday morning before the mass was held. 

A fund-raising committee collected money to build the church, donations coming from friends and business associates of Stan Wales, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. After the land was transferred to the name of the Bishop of Auckland, Trixie Wales, and later her family, continued to take responsibility for the maintenance of the church and its grounds. 

The 140-seat church was dedicated on Sunday, 25 October 1964 by Archbishop Liston. It was designed by Walter Nicholls, its dominating feature being a steeply sloping canopy entrance, reminiscent of a Hawaiian fale. The church was for some years used for services by other denominations as well as Catholics. It closed on 8 April 2001. It was demolished in the mid-2000s

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