Boost for Mid-West’s heritage-based tourism

The Monsignor Hawes story will continue to live on for all to experience with the announcement today of a $1.541 million State Government Royalties for Regions investment for the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre Project in Geraldton. 

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, who made the announcement in Geraldton today, said he was pleased the story of Monsignor Hawes was going to be told and celebrated. 

The project complements the restoration of Geraldton’s iconic Catholic cathedral and its environs with the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre to be located on the site.  The centre will serve as an information gateway and hub to about 20 Monsignor Hawes buildings located throughout the Mid-West and Gascoyne. 

“If you visit a town in central Western Australia there’s a good chance you will see the work of Monsignor John Hawes - a man of faith, service and impressive architecture,” Mr Redman said. 

“The St Francis Xavier Cathedral, which was completed in 1938, was designed by Monsignor Hawes who arrived in Geraldton as a parish priest in 1915.  The building is generally regarded as one of his finest works. 

“The addition of the centre will provide a long-awaited interpretative forum for the Monsignor story. The centre will also house and display important regional history with a collection owned by the Diocese of Geraldton. 

“This will be a significant addition to the region’s tourism, cultural and heritage assets bolstering Geraldton’s status as a heritage destination.” 

The total project cost of $3.6 million was also made up from funding provided through Lotterywest ($651,000), the Diocese of Geraldton and community fundraising efforts. 

The Mid West Investment Plan, through Royalties for Regions, has invested $82 million since 2011 with the goal of transforming the Mid-West into a 190,000-strong community by 2050. 

For further information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture – Regions.