Reverend George Henry BackhausPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

A plaque, located on a wall near the grave, commemorates the Reverend George Henry Backhaus. The plaque was erected for the Victoria 150th Anniversary Board in 1985.

Reverend Backhaus sailed from Adelaide in the Marshal Bennett on 4 March 1852 , and arrived in Melbourne eleven days later. He  volunteered to make the gold diggings his mission field. An entry made by him in a family Bible states that on Sunday, 25 April 1852, he, 'having been appointed the first priest to take charge of the Catholic population on the Victorian goldfields, celebrated the first Mass in the Gold Commissioner's camp at Forest Creek diggings'. He said the first Sunday Mass in the Bendigo area on 2 May 1852.


Address:181 McCrae Street, St. Kilians Catholic Church, Bendigo, 3550
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.755226
Long: 144.284218
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1985
Front Inscription

Growing Together 1984-5

In memory of the Reverend Doctor GEORGE HENRY BACKHAUS (1812-1882), born in Germany, the first Catholic priest appointed to the Victorian goldfields in 1852.

In Bendigo his first Mass-tent was erected near where St. Kilian's Church now stands.

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