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Catholic Church claims convent

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

The Old Convent The Old Convent

By Myles Burt

The old convent is coming back to the Catholic Church.

The building, which has been owned by the Church of Christ since 1982, was sold to the highest bidder after it failed to reach the reserve price at an auction held in Sydney last week, said Mark Curtis of the Church of Christ yesterday.

“Over the weekend, our church agreed to an offer a little under what we were hoping for but we are happy with the outcome, particularly as The Old Convent has gone to a local concern,” Mr Curtis told the BDT from Denmark where he is on holidays.

Yesterday, the local concern was revealed by auctioneers Colliers International in Sydney as the Catholic Church.

The convent was originally owned and built by the Catholic Church in 1909 to house the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ who arrived in the city in the 1880s. The building was named the ‘St Joseph’s Convent of Mercy’ and was opened by the Bishop Dunne of Port Augusta.

It was sold to private developers after a fire ripped through the roof in October 1979. The cost of repairs was $70,000, which would’ve been around $325,700 today. 

After the fire, the site was earmarked for a private hospital but with the heritage listing, the required modifications were barred and it was put up for sale. 

The Broken Hill Church of Christ bought it in 1982 and have since gradually restored and renovated the old building.

Colliers International also auctioned the former Commonwealth Bank building in Argent Street last week. They said it had sold for $520,000 but were not at liberty to say who had bought it.

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