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Bishop James O`Quinn Print Page Print this page

07-October-2013
07-October-2013
Photographs supplied by John Huth

A memorial erected by subscription commemorates Bishop O`Quinn, the first Bishop of Brisbane.

He was ordained priest in 1843, and was engaged in educational work in Dublin. In June 1859, when the see of Brisbane was created, he was appointed the first bishop, but did not arrive in Queensland until 1861. In 1875 he added an "O" to his surname. He tried to obtain government support for Catholic schools and clashed with Mother Mary MacKillop . He died on 30 August 1881 aged sixty-two, having done a good deal to moderate the acerbity of Irish factions feeling during his episcopate. Quinn's piety, zeal and energy had never been in doubt, but in his almost monarchical idea of the episcopal office he frequently lost sight of some of the fundamental principles of Christianity.

Signor Simonetti, the well-known sculptor, of Sydney, arrived in Brisbane on Sunday, bringing with him the memorial statue of the late Bishop  O'Quinn, which he has executed for St. Stephen's Cathedral. About twenty years ago, when Signor Simonetti was in Brisbane, he received a commission for a marble bust of Bishop O'Quinn, and this was placed in All Hallows Convent. Shortly after the death of the Bishop a subscription was raised for the purpose of having a life-size statue executed, to be placed in St. Stephen's Cathedral, and this commission was also entrusted to Signor Simonetti, who had kept a model of the bust in plaster of paris. Yesterday the Press representatives and a few ladies and gentlemen were favoured with a private view of this fine example of the sculptor's art, and two or three gentlemen who knew the late Bishop expressed great satisfaction with the work, stating that the likeness was very faithful. The Bishop, who will be remembered as a remarkably tall and dignified man, is represented as standing in the act of giving his blessing, with his left hand on his breast and his right arm uplifted in front of him.  The statue has been chiselled from a magnificent block of statuary marble obtained from the famous Mont Altissimo quarry at Seravezza, near Carrara. With the exception of one or two places at the back the marble ia spotless. It is to be placed on a stone pedestal close to the wall a few yards from the Altar of the Sacred Heart, and will be publicly unveiled in the course of a few days with due ceremony.
The Queenslander (Brisbane), 13th February 1892.

Location

Address:249 Elizabeth Street, St Stephen`s Cathedral , Brisbane, 4000
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.469134
Long: 153.028859
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Religion
Monument Manufacturer:Signor Simonetti
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:February-1892
Front Inscription

RIGHT REV.JAMES O`QUINN. D.D.
FIRST BISHOP OF BRISBANE
BORN 17TH MARCH 1819
DIED 18TH AUGUST 1881

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