Chronological Timeline of Incidents of the Bluff Parish

Please Note: Where exact date is unknown, only the year is indicated.

Date Incident
Approx 1872 Arrival of Saturino do Valle from Inhambane, Mozambique
June 1873 First Baptism takes place
1878 Establishment of the Mission Station
5th April 1880 Purchase of 55 Hectares of Land
July 1880 Official opening of Chapel
1881 First Marriages take place
January 1885 Mission School Opened
1893 250 Catholics on the Bluff; 2 Holy Family Sisters; 60 Children in the Mission School.
6th October 1921 New Mission Church foundation Stone Laid
1950 Marian Congress held in Durban. Holy Father Proclaims Mary Patroness of South Africa.
1951 Church of St. Joseph and St. Brendan Built
August 1951 Catholic Women’s League Started
15th January 1953 Decree of Erection of the Parish of St. Francis Xavier, Bluff, Durban issued by Archbishop Denis Hurley O.M.I. Archbishop of Durban
March 1953 St. Vincent de Paul started
13 January 1958 Permission granted by the Apostolic Delegate to sell land owned by the Parish in Torquay Ave. Price offered £2,700
15th May 1960 First Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Natal
1961 Second Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Natal
1962 Georg Johann Lang of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany commissioned by Fr. Noel Coughlan O.M.I. to carve the Stations of the Cross for the Mission Church
19th August1962 Third Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Natal
July 1963 Land sold to Dominican Order for erection of school
1964 Statue of Mary Erected
28th January 1964 Convent School of our Lady of Natal opened for new school year
23rd February 1964 Official Opening of Convent School by Archbishop Denis Hurley O.M.I.
1965 New Hall at St. Joseph and St. Brendan built
23rd June 1965 Fr. Noel Coughlan celebrates his silver jubilee
17th August 1965 Pam Embleton receives her Habit with the name Sr. Monica Mary.
By end of 1960’s Mission School Closes
19th February 1967 First Parish Council Inducted
1970 Land purchased at Wentworth for the construction of a New Church
21 June 1970 Fr. Theo Carrington celebrates his silver Jubilee
1971 Fr. Derrick Butt O.M.I. ordained to the Priesthood
20th August 1973 Fr. Evers calls a general Parish meeting to discuss the possibility establishing one church centre at Brighton Beach
1975 Land at Wentworth sold
1975 Mission Church, Presbytery and classrooms demolished
Church of St. Joseph and St. Brendan sold to the Church of the Latter Day Saints
1977 No. 2 Sormany Road purchased for use as a Presbytery
19th May 1977 New Parish Church opened
6 December 1981 New Parish Church dedicated by Archbishop Denis Hurley O.M.I. D.D.
Land purchased from Holy Family Sisters to build a Parish Hall
1986 Hall built
22nd July 1990 Malcolm Wright ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Archbishop Denis Hurley O.M.I.
1995 No 2 Sormany Road Sold
1996 New Presbytery and Classrooms completed
18th November 2000 Wall of Remembrance Blessed by Wilfrid Cardinal Napier O.F.M.
June 2002 Erection of the Cross of Love
15 September 2002 Blessing of Cross of love by Wilfrid Cardinal Napier O.F.M.


Message from Cardinal Napier   |    Message from Fr Stuart Bate OMI   |    Forward: Professor Joy Brain   |   Introduction   |   A history of the St Francis Mission   |    Establishment of the Church at Fynnland   |    The Church at Wentworth    |     Centralisation of St Francis Xavier and Building of the New Church    |    The Building of the Parish Hall   |    The Building of the New Presbytery    |    The Building of the Wall of Remembrance    |     The Architectural meaning of the New Church   |    Your Church in Rhyme by Fr Andy Slowey    |    The Human Contribution to the Growth of the Parish    |    Groups and Organisations that have contributed to the Parish    |     Current Groups within the Parish    |     Local Vocations    |     Awards and Recognition    |     An Armchair tour of the Parish    |    The Shrine to Our Lady of Natal    |    Landholdings of the Catholic Church on the Bluff    |     A Portrait of the Life and Times of St Francis Xavier    |     Picture Gallery    |     Timeline of incidents of the Bluff Parish