Official Opening of St Luke’s Green
Deputy Premier; Your Honour; Your Grace; Monsignor Meneely; other distinguished guests, and there are many of you; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, expressing respect for Elders, past and present.
I was delighted to receive the invitation from the parish of St Luke’s and the directors of the Greengate Group to join you here today for these two very important events in the life of the parish: the dedication of this historic church following its recent restoration, and the official opening of the new integrated care village right here in the church grounds.
I have just had the pleasure of meeting some of the residents, and it’s marvellous to see our fellow Queenslanders housed in such comfort and with access to such excellent services right here in the grounds of the church where so many of their significant life events have taken place.
The oldest among the residents may even recall the splendid occasion, eight decades ago, when the church was blessed by the then Apostolic Delegate to Australasia, the Most Reverend Doctor John Panico.
The Catholic Leader of the day reported that His Excellency was making his first visit to Queensland and that “in every centre he visited, the same fervour and enthusiasm were seen, culminating in an amazing welcome by thousands of Catholics at St Stephen’s Cathedral”.
The enthusiastic crowd here today is evidence that the Catholic community still thrives in our City and that this remains a vibrant, active parish despite eighty years of disruption and change to the City around it.
I’m sure Dr Panico would be pleased that the church, for the first time, now has a bell and that other refurbishments and additions have combined to prepare the church and the parish well for the future.
Chief among those additions is, of course, St Luke’s Green, this ‘little village in a big city’ with its 61 apartments designed for independent or assisted living, as well as a 60-suite aged care home.
It is a welcome and much needed addition to the range of facilities available in Brisbane and, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate and thank the parish and the Greengate Group, represented here today by Chairperson, Mr Hodgson and members of the executive.
It is now my honour and pleasure to declare St Luke’s Green officially open and to shortly join Archbishop Coleridge in unveiling the plaque to commemorate this important day in the life of this parish.