An interesting social and community book, An Enduring Flame, covers the history of St Patrick’s Parish, Mortlake from 1885 to 2020. The book has been produced as part of the 125th anniversary of St Patrick’s Church, which was expressly built to serve the workers and families of the (now former) Gas Works.

This scholarly 164-page-book carefully examines the Mortlake Catholic community in a sensitive but transparent manner. The story includes the highs and lows, opportunities and challenges, joys and sorrows of a local Irish-Australian community. It is solidly footnoted to assist family and local historians.

The book will be of broad interest across City of Canada Bay as it includes relationships with Concord and Concord West Catholic parishes. From 1894-1929 Mortlake was part of St Mary’s Burwood (Concord), then came under St Ambrose Concord West until 1934, before returning to Concord, and finally, gaining independence in 1943.

Dozens of rare photos assist in bringing to life the people and clergy. The faith, energy and commitment of the early Irish settlers has flourished, and successive generations of people from many different cultures and nationalities have contributed to the wonderfully diverse and vibrant parish community we share today.

Monsignor John Usher, who spent 33 years in the parish before retiring in 2019, will officially launch the book on 15 November. Due to Covid legalisation, the launch will be relatively small, unfortunately.

The book may be purchased through the Mortlake Parish Office, 9743 1017 or email:

Just $25 (plus postage). A wonderful Christmas present!

An Enduring Flame:   St Patrick’s Mortlake 1885-2020An Irish-Australian working-class community.  Dr Damian John Gleeson


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