Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Southern Cross celebrates heritage listings

    21/06/2012 12:00 AM
    • Pioneering buildings reflect history of the gold boom

    One of Australia’s rarest churches and a landmark hotel in Southern Cross are now State heritage listed.


    Heritage Minister John Castrilli said Our Lady of Montserrat and the Palace Hotel brought the total number of State heritage listings in the area to six.


    Southern Cross played an important role in Western Australia’s history, and its gold mining boom helped lift the nation out of the Great Depression.


    Mr Castrilli said that Our Lady of Montserrat, built in 1936, was a rare, monumental Art Deco-styled church which represented the strength of the Catholic Church at a time of economic hardship.


    For years the Southern Cross parish was operated by the Spanish-influenced New Norcia Benedictine community, with many of the monks coming from Spain.


    “The church is recognised for its contribution to our pioneers as well as present and future communities,” the Minister said.


    Mr Castrilli said the Palace Hotel, established in 1911, was one of three remaining hotels in the Yilgarn district built during the gold boom period of the late 19th and early 20th century.


    “At the time, the building was hailed as the upmarket hotel in Southern Cross, which was a starting point for gold prospecting in the region,” he said.


    “The hotel operated as the Anniversary Hostel boarding house from 1971 until the 1990s, when it was in danger of demolition because of its poor condition.


    “A local resident purchased the Palace in 1990 to restore its reputation as the best hotel in Southern Cross.


    “Due to the owner’s dedication, the hotel has been transformed and is once again an asset to Yilgarn.”


    The Minister acknowledged the strong interest of Eyre MLA Graham Jacobs in heritage and in securing State listings for heritage properties within his electorate.


          Fact File

    • The State Register of Heritage Places is managed by the Heritage Council of WA and the State Heritage Office
    • For more information, visit http://www.stateheritage.wa.gov.au

    Minister’s office - 6552 6600