Thursday, June 21, 2012
Sacred Heart Church, Beagle Bay
Leveque I had seen photos of the shell church in Beagle Bay. The church is
not actually made of shells, but the alter is. So again we pulled off the
main road and drove into Beagle Bay. This community was nowhere near as
tidy or inviting as Lombardina with quite run down houses and old vehicles
in most of the yards. Photography is not allowed in Aboriginal communities
to maintain their privacy.
Lots of tour buses and visitors call into Beagle Bay every day to visit the
church. From the outside the Catholic Church looks like lots of other
churches throughout the world and it is not until you are inside that you
see the shell work. It is pretty amazing and great that it is being
maintained a is available for the public to see. The church is still in
regular use. Two ladies were sitting outside under the trees cleaning the
brass which was pretty tarnished and they were doing a fine job - I did not
ask to photograph them as they are not too keen on cameras generally.
Once we had seen the church we called into the General Store - not a lot to
choose from and they didn't have prices on anything. All bread in outlying
areas in Western Australia is kept frozen in the stores as there are not
many bakeries. We just purchased a loaf of bread and a tin of salmon and
then continued our journey. Lunch was at the same spot we had called into
on our way north - salmon sandwiches. At least with frozen bread and tinned
salmon you can be reasonably assured of freshness.