Bishop John Oliver FeethamPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Ian Bevege

Episcopal Throne and Canon's stalls dedicated in memory of Bishop John Feetham who died in 1947.

John Oliver Feetham (1873-1947), bishop, was born on 27 January 1873 at Penrose, Monmouthshire, England. Through schooling at Marlborough in 1886-92, John Oliver came to admire the British Public School education: it served as his ideal in establishing schools in North Queensland. Frederick Campion, a fellow curate, came to Australia in 1902 and founded the Brotherhood of the Good Shepherd, based in Dubbo, New South Wales, in 1904. Feetham was interested in the work and followed him in 1907 as the second principal. Love of the Australian bush and its people and belief in the importance of the Brotherhood became distinctive marks of his episcopate in North Queensland. While he was in the Brotherhood, the bishop of North Queensland, G. H. Frodsham, invited him to Townsville to conduct the clergy retreat. Feetham was unanimously elected to the see in October 1912, when Frodsham resigned.

Feetham was bishop of North Queensland from 1913 to 1947. His episcopate spanned crucial years in the development of North Queensland. His outstanding achievement was the foundation of schools. They were primarily 'the bishop's schools', and he devoted tremendous effort to them, leaving a powerful imprint on them: All Souls and St Gabriel's, Charters Towers, and St Anne's, Townsville, are flourishing still, while St Mary's, Herberton, closed in 1966. His aim was to bring up the children of North Queensland in the best Imperial and church traditions.

BISHOP FEETHAM MEMORIAL THRONE The Right Reverend Dr. J. O. Feetham was Anglican Bishop of North Queensland until his death three years ago.  The throne was carved in Melbourne by Mr. W. Langcake, architect and ecclesiastical carver. Joinery work was executed by Messrs Hadwen and Houghton. Until recently, the tree from which the throne was carved, stood near Lake Barrine, on the Gillies Highway, in North Queensland. Eight feet from the ground its girth measured 30ft. 10in. It towered 140ft. above the ground. Its height and age made the tree a tourist attraction. However, so badly was it affected by rot that it menaced public safety and the Forestry Department had it felled. Of the 28,000 super feet of timber it contained, only one log was secured. This log was made available to the North Queensland Sawmillers' Association for the specific purpose of serving the Bishop's Memorial. Milling of the log was placed in the hands of Messrs Cairns Timber Limited. The milled timber was sent to Melbourne to be carved in the throne.
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld.),  22 September 1952.

Few modern bishops had more devoted admirers than John Oliver Feetham, late Bishop of North Queensland,
Archbishop Halse said in St. James Cathedral last night. He was preaching the sermon at Sung Evensong during which a Bishop's throne and Canon's stalls were dedicated to the memory of Bishop Feetham who died in 1948.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 25th December 1952.


Address:36 Cleveland Terrace, St James Cathedral , Townsville, 4810
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -19.25543
Long: 146.816531
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Mr W.Langcake
Monument Manufacturer:Messrs Hadwen & Houghton
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 24th December, 1952
Front Inscription

The Throne and Canons’ stalls are dedicated to the Glory of God and in grateful remembrance of John Oliver Feetham Bishop of the Diocese of North Queensland, 1913 - 1947.

A  great spiritual leader, a most generous friend and lover of souls.

Requiescat in pace

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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