the fiftieth year since the 2nd of October 1962 when
the Most Reverend M McKeon D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, Blessed and Opened the Church-School at Melville-Myaree-Alfred Cove. Bishop McKeon was assisted by the inaugural Parish Priest, the Reverend James Mullins.
Left to right: Deacon John Kiely, Archbishop Costelloe, Fr Joseph Lee, Fr Siriakus
Leading the 50th Anniversary celebrations on Sunday December 16, 2012, was the Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB DD DTheol, Archbishop of Perth supported in a concelebrated Mass by Parish Priest and Chaplain to the Korean Community, Father Joseph Lee, and Chaplain to the Indonesian Community, Father Siriakus Ndolu O. Carm. Assisting at the altar was the Reverend Deacon John Kiely. This small parish situated in the Melville area, flanked by the big parish of Applecross, other parishes like Willagee, Palmyra and Attadale was none-the-less very active and applied several times for permission to build a church. However, the general opinion of the Diocesan planning committee was that the parish was not viable. In 2002 Father Larry Reitmeyer was appointed to test the viability of the parish and to either build a church or recommend the parish be suppressed. A key element in

testing the viability of the parish was whether the necessary finance could be raised and maintained. Fired up by the challenge put before them by Fr Larry the parishioners responded to what at first was a tentative suggestion, then a substantial proposal to the Archdiocese which eventually became a work in progress and finally the building a 'proper' church.
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Prior to having a 'proper' church Masses had been held in homes of parishioners, then in the presbytery, in school classrooms that had to be 'rearranged' each weekend to accommodate the congregation and put back as classrooms again before Monday morning. Later when our school population diminished we were able to refurbish two classrooms for use as a Mass centre - better than classrooms, but still NOT a church and many parishioners longed for a worshipful space that could rightly be called a church. Finally in 2007, after much fundraising and many meetings within the parish and with the diocese our beautiful church was completed and consecrated. It was in this beautiful, prayerful church that Archbishop Costelloe and our parish priests celebrated the 50th anniversary Mass.

When the Liturgy Committee met to discuss the Mass for the auspicious celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the parish, Ann Chew, Choir Mistress and Organist for the Pater Noster Choir, suggested that the three discrete choirs, namely, Indonesian, Korean and Pater Noster, be showcased as a combined choir. That started the ball rolling. Choir practices were held on Saturdays which culminated on Sunday, 16 December at the 9.30am Mass. The harmonious mix of voices was beautifully carried through the Mass, prompting Archbishop Timothy Costelloe to comment "the singing would be one of the best he has heard in parishes".

Pre-schoolers also had a part to play in the Mass. After the initial introductory blessing they were invited to go with their Children's Liturgy coordinator to engage in a project. They returned at the Offertory and showed the Archbishop the fruits of their labour - disks with an Advent theme which they added to the Jesse tree to the right of the altar.

The combined choir of the regular Pater Noster participants, the Korean Community of the Parish and the Indonesian Community of the Parish made a great impression on the Archbishop.

Children's Liturgy is a regular activity at the 6.00 pm and 9.30 am Masses and so the children were very happy to show and discuss the results of their work to the clergy before hanging their works on the Jesse tree.
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Prior to the dismissal prayers of the Mass a special event occurred. Fr Joseph invited his sister, Sylvia, to perform a traditional Korean dance that had been adapted to express a Christian story. At home in Korea Sylvia is a professional Christian liturgical dancer in the traditional Korean style , namely, slow in tempo, dignified and refined but expressive of emotions of great sorrow, love, wonder and joy. In this dance she is depicting total commitment and devotion to Jesus and God the Father as expressed in a line from the song to the music, "I wholeheartedly give all to you my father."

After the celebratory Mass parishioners and friends attended a morning tea in the parish/school hall where a feast awaited them. All the food was supplied by parishioners and a group organised by a subcommittee of the Parish Council saw to all the organisation.

A special moment during the morning tea was the cutting of the 50th Anniversary cake by Archbishop Costelloe and Fr Joseph. The Archbishop said this was a birthday and he started singing Happy Birthday and was quickly joined by all present finishing with three cheers.
The Mass and Morning tea was attended by the Mass celebrants, the principal and deputies of Mel Maria school, the Mayor of Melville and local member of parliament, Janet Woollard. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, South Perth, were recruited by Fr Mullins to staff the fledgling school in 1963, and later, in the 1970s they were replaced by Sisters of Mercy of Australia. Sister Eileen Johnson was present representing the Sisters of St Joseph while Sisters Joan Smith and Marie Fitzgerald represented the Sisters of Mercy. Also in attendance were numerous parishioners and many many preschool and school aged children. The sight of the children heartened the founding sisters giving them a good indication that the Pater Noster Campus of Mel Maria School will have full enrolments  for the foreseeable future.

I wholeheartedly give all to you my father.

Fr Joseph Lee and Archbishop Costelloe cut the 50th Anniversary cake

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The slideshow was prepared by Parish Council Chairman, Nathan Tavani. Given that Nathan had a short timeline in which to scan the photographs, label and prepare each slide he did an excellent job. Thank you Nathan.

Some of the historic photographs suffer from insufficient information - names, dates etc - and if you can provide additional information please contact Merv Bond 9330 3310 or by email mwgb@iinet.net.au.

Although the Church-School building was blessed in 1962, and we have commemorated the 50th year since that event, the building was used as a church only in 1963 and classes commenced in 1964 when the Sisters of St Joseph agreed to staff the school.

Father Formosa, Parish Priest from 1980 to February 2001, and his brother Fr Anthony.

March 2008. Farewell to Fr Larry Reitmeyer who has just received a going away gift from Parish Council Chairperson, Ann Chew. In the background are some of the many parishioners gathered in the old church building for this special occasion. A special cake stands by for the ceremonial cutting.

50th Anniversary cake prior to being cut by current parish priest Fr Joseph Lee and Archbishop Costelloe.

Food prepared by hardworking parishioners for the 50th anniversary celebration awaits the arrival of the official party and other parishioners.

Official guests mixed with parishioners as they watched the cutting of the anniversary cake.

Young children enjoyed the occasion as much as their parents.

Some of the long-time parishioners enjoyed a little reminiscence.

The link following takes you to a power point display of photographs from the 1960s to the present day.

Historic slideshow

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