The legacy of Monsignor John Hawes, beloved priest and architect, is remembered in the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre. The award-winning interpretive centre is watched over by Geraldton’s Cathedral of St Francis Xavier, designed by Hawes in 1918.
Hawes spent 24 years in Western Australia, designing many ecclesiastical buildings throughout Western Australia’s mid-west while he was appointed the Diocesan Architect. Hawes meticulously kept diaries, which allowed much of the exhibition to be told in his own words and memories.
Detailed construction drawings are featured in the exhibition and within the graphics, illustrating Hawes’ talent and the devotion he had to his vocation. Hawes designed his buildings using distinctive colours and pattern work, influenced by his time at the London County Council’s Central School or Arts and Crafts, which is replicated throughout the graphic styling of the exhibition.
The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre was opened in September 2016 by the Western Australian Premier to a strong reception from the Geraldton community, and was named the winner for the Interpretation Project category in the 2017 WA Heritage Awards.