Friday, March 7, 2014

St. Augustine's Church 1838-1988 Rustico

     I was in a local thrift store the other day leafing through their religious books and came across this gem for $2.99!  I've been looking for this book for years.  Many of these local Island histories published over the years quickly went out-of-print and are hard to find - I'm always looking for them in used book stores and at yard sales.
     The book was published in 1988 on the 150th Anniversary of St. Augustine's Church.  It was written by the Church's Anniversary and History Committee and begins with congratulatory messages from Father Art Pendergast; Prime Minister Brian Mulrooney; Premier Joesph Ghiz; and Bishop James MacDonald.  There is no ISBN number.
     When I was doing work for the Doucet House and Farmer's Bank I borrowed this book for historical references.  Recently I went looking for one of those references and couldn't find it. Here's what I was looking for...
     "In the year 1834, plans were drawn up for the building of a new church in Rustico to replace the second church built in 1807.  The dimensions of the new church were to be 90 ft. in length by 50 ft. wide with a massive tower, style commonly adopted in Anglican churches on the Island and approximately 80 ft. in height.  The main body of the church is surrounded by 12 large windows in paired gothic architectural style.  The tower presents a very striking appearance with its four turrets, its large wooden cross combined with a handsome decorative trim on its four sides.  Including outside windows, it took 2940 panes of glass to complete the installation of the windows.  Ten columnar pillars support the roof structure as as well as the gallery located on the side and back of the church.
     Bishop MacDonald in a letter written on August 3, 1838, to Rev. Antoine Gagnon, parish priest of Barachois, N.B. makes reference to a certain Mr. Hilaire Arsenault of Le Barachois who evidently worked on the new St. Augustine's Church during the summer of 1838 erecting the main structure of the church.  The Bishop informs Rev. Gagnon that Mr. Arsenault will be returning home in a few days."
     Fore more see previous Blog Post...

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