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I was intrigued with Terri Kelleher's review of the new book about William Wardell, the famous architect. I became aware of him only after I moved to Geelong and joined the Geelong West Heritage Committee in the 1980s.
Here, his work is everywhere, and widely acclaimed, from the Catholic Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Geelong West (Ashly Parish) to the primary school, Geelong West Courthouse (nowadays engulfed by the modern Library) and the little gem, Geelong West's post office, a very self-possessed building, sporting lovely little stained-glass windows onto Pakington Street.
Further afield in this district is the remarkable Courthouse at Steiglitz, a gold mining town with no power or running water and all of seven (7) residents, and, just up the road, a half hour's drive will see another of his courthouses at Ballan. All of these "smaller" projects have William Wardell's stamp of beauty and containment, which makes local hearts swell with pride and recognition.
As a girl who attended Vaucluse Convent FCJ in the shadow of the Church of St Ignatius' mighty spire, seen all over Richmond, I am ashamed to say I never knew about this famous man, and the impact his works would later have on my life.
If Terri would like a personal tour, I'd be delighted to escort her any time. The Courthouse at Steiglitz is open every Sunday afternoon, and is a treat to visit.
CAMBRIA M. PARKINSON
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 4 (May 2011), p. 16
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