Robert Bruce reaching great heights

PHOTOGRAPHER Robert Bruce would not want to be afraid of heights for this job. 

He is nine metres in the air and in the dark.

As part of the upcoming 150th anniversary celebrations for the Orange St Mary’s and St Joseph Parish, Mr Bruce is in charge of photographing and documenting the stained glass windows, which came from Europe, in the 143-year-old building. 

“It’s extremely high and there was a lot of problems,” Mr Bruce said, as he climbed down from an electric lifter standing in the middle of the aisle. 

He said pews had to be unscrewed and it was an engineering feat for everyone involved to work out how to find equipment which could lift him straight up without damaging anything, including himself. 

But once he was up into the heavens of the St Joseph’s Church, it was worth the struggle.

“It looks terrific,” he said. 

This year marks 150 years since Orange was recognised as its own parish and 151 years since the first catholic school began in a wooden church built where St Joseph’s is now.

Orange was created as a separate parish in 1864 and included the villages of Molong, Cumnock, Yeoval, Cudal, Cargo, Millthorpe and Forest Reefs.

It was not until 1956 St Mary’s Parish was created by dividing the town along the railway line as a parish border and then the two amalgamated once again in 2001. 

The church in Byng Street was opened and blessed by Archbishop Polding of Sydney on April 30, 1871. 

Archbishop Polding blessed the name, which remains to this day.

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