From The Flinders News Wednesday, July 12, 2006, Page 6
We happened to see this article while holidaying in Pt Pirie. The picture of the Hammond Catholic Church was taken during a visit in April, 2005. The church was quite splendid in what was virtually a ghost town.


Sad day as final mass is celebrated
About 150 people from across the state attend historic service

Sunday, June 25, was a sad day for the small congregation of St. Dominic's Catholic Church at Hammond, when the last Sunday Mass was celebrated there by Parish Priest, Father Adrian Head.

About 150 people attended the Mass, and a shared luncheon that followed at the Hammond Hall.

The weather was very kind, allowing people to enjoy their luncheon inside the hall or outside in the sun.

People came from many parts of South Australia and some from interstate.

Families whose roots were in the Hammond area returned, together with their children and grandchildren.

It was a wonderful occasion for renewing old friendships and talking of times gone by.

Those present were fortunate to have in attendance Sr Terezita, (Joan Cormack), originally from the Hammond area, and Sr Moreen, of Wilmington.

St. Dominic's Catholic Church was originally built in 1878-9 on the wash of the Coonatto Creek, along the Wilmington to Hammond Road.

It was known as St. Dominic's Church, Willochra, and served a wide area including Wilmington.

Records show that a small Catholic School run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, was operating during this period on the same site as the church.

Following the closure of St. Dominic's Church at Willochra, a new house of worship was re-erected and enlarged in the township of Hammond, the foundation stone being laid in May, 1907.

The present bishop, Bishop Eugene Hurley, was ordained a priest on June 27, 1964, and his ordination breakfast was held in the Hammond Hall.

It was unfortunate that he was unable to attend the final Mass.

For the small congregation it was a very sad day, with all members regretting that it was not possible for St. Dominic's Church, Hammond, to remain open until its centenary.

- Faye Case