Church of the Holy Angels was built in 1900 at a cost of £2000. In 1907
the church was broken into but fortunately nothing was stolen because the
priest prudently removed the silver after Mass every Sunday.
It became a separate parish in 1912 with the Reverend John Barry, assisted
by the Reverend T. Bride. The foundation stone for the enlarged church was
laid in August 1913 and the church was opened on 30 November 1913 by the
Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Dr Carr. The Reverend Barry was
the pastor at the time. Brick reinforced pillars with arches had replaced
the old wooden walls. A new gable window, organ gallery and four entrances
were added and with new seating and other embellishments the work cost
architects were Watts and Sons and the contractor was James Brown. Cooper
described the interior as ‘impressive. The high altar, and the side altars
of the Sacred Heart, and Our Blessed Lady, are aids to devotion. There are
beautiful decorated statues of the Sacred Heart, and the Blessed Virgin,
adorning the side altars. The altar rails are artistic, with a rich
carpet, and a massive candelabrum; these, and other furnishings, it is
said “make the Church of Holy Angels, Balaclava, the most devotional one
outside of [the city of] Melbourne”.’
was made a separate parish in 1926 in the care of the Reverend M. J.
Keenan. The foundation stone for a new church was laid on 16 June 1929 by
Archbishop Mannix. C. D. Rose was the architect and R. V. Ritchie the
builder. The work cost £10,288 and was opened on 1 December 1929 by the
Apostolic Delegate, Dr Cattaneo.
Stylistically, it is a fusion of Byzantine and Romanesque. The symmetrical
facade is dominated by a central porch and the side towers. The upper
parts of these towers were removed several decades ago, presumably due to
Church with Towers
September 1939 the parish was re-named St Colman’s. The change of name was
justified because there was no feast of Holy Angels in the church calendar
and the name had never caught on. A groom missed his wedding appointment
because a tram conductor and a policeman assured him there was no church
named Holy Angels in the area. The school had taken the name Holy Redeemer
and the Hibernians had called their branch St Colman’s. The tennis club
took their name of Glen Eira ‘from the pavement’ while the football team
adopted the name Balaclava. The club ‘had modestly declined the name [Holy
Angels] — perhaps with good reason. On muddy days it might not look well,
and on rough-neck days it might not sound well’. St Colman’s
continues to operate as a church and there is a school adjoining it.
hall and presbytery were in McWhae Avenue, in the city of Caulfield. The
hall was opened by Archbishop Mannix in February 1914 and was designed to
accommodate 400 people. The timber from the original church was used in
its construction. The new presbytery on the corner of Carlisle Street and
Carlisle Avenue was opened on 3 October 1926.
asymmetrical school hall complements the design of the church. Its tower
is intact. The hall is on the ground floor and classrooms above. It was
built in 1938-39.