Centenary of the Arrival of the Presentation SistersPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Paul Scott

Two stained glass windows commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the Presentation Sisters in Geraldton in July 1891.

In May 1891 Sisters sailed from Ireland to England then to Albany. From Albany they travelled to Perth by train and finally by boat to Geraldton, arriving in July 1891. They commenced work the day after they arrived. During the next 78 years the Sisters from that original group opened a further 21 schools in some of the remotest areas of Western Australia. They “followed the mining towns, opening and closing schools wherever there was a need, even taking their convent and school by ‘jinker’ (a wheeled flat topped conveyance) from one mining town to another. They reached out to country children by taking boarders, both boys and girls, and taught many Aboriginal children.”



Address:Cathedral Avenue & Maitland Street, St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton, 6530
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.777368
Long: 114.611855
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Window
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:06-July-1891
Actual Event End Date:06-July-1991
Designer:E. G. Gowers & A. S. Brown (Greenmount, WA)
Monument Manufacturer:E. G. Gowers & A. S. Brown (Greenmount, WA)


Front Inscription

Plaque :

Presentation Windows

The two stained glass windows over the choir loft were installed to mark the centenary of the arrival of the Presentation Sisters in Geraldton on 6th July, 1891.  They are a tribute from the Diocese of Geraldton to the work of the Sisters during 100 years.

From the left, the first window depicts the Irish foundation of the Order by Nano Nagle on Christmas Eve 1775; the four founding Sisters are bathed in radiance of the Holy Spirit as they stand on the well of living water.  Behind the Sisters is a brief Irish landscape : A Celtic cross is featured, the world is in the centre and, to the right, is the Southern Cross.  A vision of the future chapter of the Order.  The borders incorporate the shamrock.

The second window depicts the founding of the Australian Chapter in Geraldton.  The date of arrival is recorded - 6th July 1891.

A typical blazing north-west sunset is depicted with the Southern Cross; to the right is a sailing ship, and, to the left, in blazing sunlight is the Cathedral on a sandy waste.

Beneath the sailing ship is a typical outback school with the purple mountain ranges of the Pilbara,  A Sister with children featured in the centre of the window with the rugged panorama of the desert and bush behind her.

The stalks of wheat and ripening crops symbolise the seeds of knowledge flourishing and being harvested.

At the base of the window is wheat with the Eucharist as a central theme.  The lantern - trade - mark of Nano Nagle - and symbol of the light of Christ is behind the symbols of the Eucharist, Geraldton Wax surround the base scene.

The rosary features on both windows, and the Presentation Cross and Coat of Arms are included.

The designs are based on the publication "Celtic Root and the Icon of Nano Nagle" by Desmond Kyne and suggestions from the Presentation Sisters and were drawn and crafted by E. G. Gowers & A. S. Brown, Greenmount, W.A.




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