The wall at the end of the nave has a vivid depiction of the Passion scene. This was the work of a roving artist from South West Africa and was done in the 1940’s while Revered Father D.F Dahille was parish priest.
Little is known about the painter, who arrived at the Presbytery down on his luck and in return for free board and lodging, offered the talents of his brush in grateful thanks. Faded somewhat and retouched (1977 by Mr Olivier) in places, the work in its original form had a remarkable sense of depth, the huge Crucifix behind it seemingly hovering at its centre.
The church was repainted in the 1950’s while Revered Father T. O’Mahony was resident priest, and a blasting technique employed on the interior pillars, which has held up remarkably well to this day.
On February 8th, 1961 St. Patrick’s parish celebrated the Silver Jubilee of its establishment, with Bishop E.A. Green offering Solemn Pontifical Mass, assisted by the priests who had at various times been stationed at St. Patrick’s.
At the time of the Jubilee, Father C. Woods, who was Parish Priest, congratulated the Bishop and the people of St. Patrick’s and thanked the priests who had worked in the parish in the past quarter century, and pioneers who had toiled for many years to raise money to build the church.
He said -
“This Jubilee celebration is a tribute to the unbounded enthusiasm of a handful of zealous Catholics who worked, collected, and gave, so that the Northern suburbs of the city might have their own church. Our thanks are particularly due to the Sisters of the Assumption Convent, Sydenham, for the growth of their school has been parallel with that of the parish.”
Of the original committee formed just after the South African war, to raise funds for a new church, two members were still alive at the time of the Jubilee: Mr Jack O’Connor and Mr Jack Nagel. It was further pointed out that just after World War One, the Assumption Sisters from Prospect Hill acquired a house at 22 North Road which served as a primary school. Mass was said here for many years by a priest who cycled in from the Priory every Sunday. The Altar was built by Mr. O’Connor, and at the time of the Silver Jubilee it was in the church at New Brighton. Again it was recalled that shortly after the opening of the Parish church, a house was purchased at 15 Wynne Street, Sydenham and that this had remained the Presbytery. Father Wynne, who was unable to make the journey for the Jubilee celebration, was the first parish priest, with Father M.B MacManus as his Assistant.
At the Silver Jubilee celebration it was pointed out that an officer from the mailship, which happened to be in the harbour when the church was opened, gave the original Stations of the Cross, which remained until the early 1960’s when new Stations of the Cross were placed in the church.