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Part 1. Overcoming obstacles

 

Fr Joseph O’Shea was the priest who drove the creation of our parish and oversaw the building of the church.

Col Sinclair, with the help of Fr O’Shea, produced a scale model of the church. Sadly, the models no longer exist.

The contract to build the church went to John Garling of Caringbah, who had not previously built a church.

A dilapidated cottage stood on the property occupied by pensioners Mr Robert Henry Womsley and his wife, who had a protected tenancy for 43 years.

Fr O’Shea sought legal advice with GJ Needs & Chan of Kingsgrove, who advised Fr O’Shea to pay the Womsleys $1000 compensation for vacant possession, given that without vacant possession building of the church could not proceed and the delays would be costly and inconvenient to the church.

In a letter to Fr O’Shea dated 13 April 1967 Cardinal Gilroy had no hesitation in approving the compensation: “The advice of your Solicitor seems reasonable and I authorise you to accept it and pay the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000-00) in compensation for vacant possession and sign the legal documents that are necessary.”

Our Lady of Fatima Peakhurst church officially opened on 13 October 1968.