File 361 - Letters from Fr William G. Lockington SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning the Mission in Australia

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST/361

Title

Letters from Fr William G. Lockington SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning the Mission in Australia

Date(s)

  • 8 November 1913 - 15 June 1925 (Creation)

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c. 63 items

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Name of creator

(26 February 1871-10 October 1948)

Biographical history

Born: 26 February 1871, Ross, South Island, New Zealand
Entered: 02 June 1897, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 10 October 1948, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1901 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1911 at St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 24 January 1917

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Raphaël Gennarelli Entry :
Father William Lockington invited him to Australia from Naples for his health. He died at Sevenhill a few years after his arrival.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior Willliam Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Austraian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne :
Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)
by G. J. O'Kelly
G. J. O'Kelly, 'Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lockington-william-joseph-7216/text12489, published first in hardcopy 1986

anti-conscriptionist; Catholic priest; school principal

Died : 10 October 1948, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

William Joseph Lockington (1871-1948), Jesuit priest, was born on 23 February 1871 at Ross, New Zealand, eldest of eight children of Elisha Lockington, carpenter and later sawmiller from Derbyshire, England, and his wife Mary, née Canfield. Elisha had migrated to the Beechworth, Victoria, goldfields in the 1850s, moving to Ross in 1862; Mary, a milliner, had arrived in New Zealand from England in 1868.

After primary education at the Convent of Mercy, Hokitika, William at 14 became a pupil-teacher at Ross and at 18 head-teacher of the public school at Capleston; his wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster. He was also a well-known racing cyclist. On 2 June 1896 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Greenwich, Sydney, where Aloysius Sturzo, the former superior of the Australian Jesuit communities and then master of novices, disseminated a feeling for internationalism and concern for the poor. Lockington subsequently studied at Tullamore, King's County, Ireland, in Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England. He taught at The Crescent College, Limerick, Ireland, in 1902-07 and undertook his tertianship at Milltown Park, Dublin, and Poughkeepsie, New York. Ordained in July 1910, he returned to Ireland to assist at Milltown Park in the training of novices and tertians in 1911-13. A course of his lectures, published in 1913 as Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour and reprinted and translated several times, illustrates his continued emphasis on physical fitness. His admiration for Ireland resulted in his book, The Soul of Ireland (1919).

Recalled to Australia in 1913, Lockington worked as parish priest at Richmond, Melbourne, until his appointment in 1916 as rector of St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. In 1917-23 he was superior of the eleven Australian Jesuit communities; in addition to overseeing four secondary colleges, one seminary and six parishes, he helped to establish Newman College at the University of Melbourne and a seminary at Werribee, Corpus Christi College, for the training of priests from three States.

During this period in Victoria, Lockington gained a reputation as controversialist in the tradition of William Kelly. This partly sprang from his association with Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. Lockington was described by a colleague as 'the best platform orator in Australia'. His topics covered religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people; many of his addresses were published. He worked hard to further the growth of the Australian Catholic Federation and was regarded by the Protestant press as a principal in the 1917 anti-conscriptionist 'Jesuit scare'. In 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild (later, Catholic Women's League). With Mannix presiding, he was a key speaker in the federation's mid-1917 lecture series which drew a Melbourne audience of thousands; his accusations of sweated labour in confectioners' establishments occasioned debate in the Legislative Assembly. In 1921 the town of Lockington was named after 'the noted author, preacher and lecturer'. His most famous panegyric was yet to come—that for Marshal Foch at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, in April 1929.

Lockington was headmaster of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1923-32. Despite the Depression, he resumed a massive building programme, halted since 1901, to complete the main features of the college. He promoted religious music, drama and physical vigour; open-air dormitories bear his stamp. After 1932 he undertook parish duties at Toowong, Brisbane, until 1936 and at Richmond and Hawthorn, Melbourne, until 1947. He was a committee-member of the Catholic Broadcasting Co. and, particularly on Archbishop Duhig's urgings, gave numerous retreats and lectures.

On his way to one such retreat, Lockington died in Brisbane on 10 October 1948. One of the best-known Catholic priests in Australia, and to Mannix 'the friend of half a lifetime', he was buried in Nudgee cemetery.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Jesuit Life, no 7, Dec 1981
Lockington papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-a-town-called-lockington/
Some 200 km north of Melbourne, Australia, is a town called Lockington, one of the few towns called after a Jesuit, Will Lockington (1871-1948). He was a tough West Coast New Zealander whose wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise (he was a well-known racing cyclist) made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster – he was Principal of a local school at 18, and later, as a Jesuit, Headmaster of St Ignatius College, Riverview for nine years. He was a lifelong friend of Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. During his ten years in Ireland, he taught in Crescent College, studied in Tullabeg, and published “Bodily health and spiritual vigour”, a book well ahead of its time.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Lockington, the eldest of eight, received his early education in New Zealand with the Sisters of Mercy at Hokitika. He had no formal secondary education, but the pupil-teacher system appealed to him from the first.
He became a teacher in 1891 and was appointed headmaster of the school at Capleston, a school with about 80 children. He joined in the activities of the local community, played the violin at entertainments and acted in dramatic productions. By 1896 he had decided to join the Jesuits as a brother.
He joined the noviciate at Greenwich, Sydney, 2 June 1896, aged 25. During his noviciate the novice master, Aloysius Sturzo, convinced him to become a priest and so he took his vows as a scholastic in June 1898.
After a year of Latin and Greek in Sydney, he was sent to the Irish juniorate at Tullabeg. He found these studies too difficult, and never matriculated. He was sent to Jersey for
philosophy, and also studied French. However, he only stayed a year, and was sent to Stonyhurst, England, to complete his studies. He became a powerful force in community life, gave lectures on New Zealand, played in the orchestra, helped with plays, and was a promoter of games and sport.
Next he taught at the Crescent College, Limerick, 1902-07. He conducted a choir, and helped produce musicals. He was reported to be a good teacher, and was prefect of studies, 1905-07. He fell in love with Ireland, and later expressed that affection in his book, “The Soul of lreland”.
In 1907 he went to Miiltown Park for theology, and was ordained, 26 July 1910. He did tertianship at Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1911 he returned to Ireland as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, and it was during this time that he wrote his more celebrated book, “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigor”. The work, developed out of a course of lectures he gave to the tertians, reflected Lockington's spirituality - religious life implies a total dedication of oneself to the love and service of God and one's fellow human beings, and that body was included as well as soul.
He was sent back to Australia in 1913, was briefly at Xavier College, and in 1914 was made superior at St Ignatius' Church, Richmond. He was to remain a superior until 1947. He was rector of St Patrick's College in 1916, and at once made plans for its renovation and extension.
However, the next year he was appointed superior of the Mission until 1923. Newman College and Corpus Christi, Werribee were negotiated at this time. It was during these years that he became a national Church figure, lecturing, preaching and giving retreats from Brownsville to Perth, and in New Zealand. He was a powerful preacher, long and loud. His topics included religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people. He even had a town in Victoria named after him in 1921.
He did well to make the name of the Society of Jesus acceptable to the parish clergy in the country, and became a good friend of Dr Mannix, the archbishop. They were both fighters and thought alike on most issues One of their joint ventures in 1917 was the “National Foundation Stones”, a series of seventeen lectures, three of which were given by Lockington. Twenty thousand attended the last lecture given by Mannix at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Lockington had two important qualities, his passion for social justice and his deep sympathy for women. in 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild. He valued the contribution women could make to the Church and society.
When his term as Mission Superior ended, he was appointed Rector of Riverview in October 1923 for eight years. Some believe that he built the College from a small school into a “Great Public' school”. The main south front was then not much more than half finished. He completed the main front and the first bays of the east wing. Open air dormitories bear his stamp. He also pulled down the old wooden hall and the original stone cottage.
Internally, he reformed the choir and the performance of the liturgy. He revived the tradition of drama. He was not a popular rector, but respected, trusted and even revered. He never stood on his dignity, as he did not need to. He played handball with the senior boys, and worked with axe or crowbar, pick or hammer. He had no time for mere ceremonial. He was simple and straightforward. All during this time he continued preaching, lecturing and giving retreats.
In 1932, aged 61, he went to Brisbane, to the parish of Toowong. Here he continued his usual round of retreats, lectures and sermons. One lecture lasted one hour and 25 minutes. It was in Brisbane that he developed angina and expected to live a quieter life. He recovered sufficiently to become parish priest in 1933, and in 1936 was appointed parish priest of Richmond, Melbourne. Here he remained until 1947, and at 76, returned to Toowong. However, his heart gave out and he died in the midst of a visitation of religious houses for the archbishop. He was buried in Nudgee cemetery.
He was not a man of great intellect or learning, but he made the best use of his talents. He cared little for reputation, for his own dignity for pomp or circumstance of any kind. He could be overbearing. He was not a good organiser. He had too much contempt for public relations. Yet for all this he was a man totally developed, body and soul, and totally dedicated to Christ, a man, wholly man, Catholic and Jesuit, all for God's greater glory

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He fell foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Australian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

Note from Thomas Forster Entry
When William Lockington embarked on his building programme in 1928, he used Thomas as clerk of works with excellent results. His sudden death from a stroke was a severe blow to Lockington.

Note from Michael O’Brien (ASL) Entry
He did not take kindly to Charles Fraser shooting his cows in the rose garden, nor in William Lockington showing him how to do his work. One recreation he enjoyed was to attend meetings of the Irish in Sydney, details of which he kept close to himself.

Note from Hugo Quigley Entry
He was enrolled at Osterly, the house for “late vocations” conducted by the English Jesuits to prepare students for entry into various seminaries. There, with John Carpenter and Laurence Hession, he answered the appeal of the then superior of the Australian Mission, William Lockington, for men willing to volunteer for the Society in Australia.

Note from Jeremiah Sullivan Entry
The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy

Note from Vincente Guimera Entry
Vincente Guimera entered the 'Society in 1890, and after studies and some teaching, he was sent to New Guinea in the 1920s to help find a solution to the problems in a mission that had been acquired from die German Franciscans. The superior general asked the Australian superior, William Lockington, to settle the matter, and he sent Joseph A. Brennan to New Guinea. They closed the mission and gave it to the SVDs. Three Spanish Jesuits then came to Sydney briefly and stayed at Loyola. Guimera subsequently lived and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1924-25

Note from Gerard Guinane Entry
Gerard Guinane was only sixteen when he entered the Society at Tullabeg, and following early studies he was sent to Riverview in 1926. He taught in the school, was prefect of the study hall and, for a while, was assistant rowing master. He was very successful as a teacher and highly regarded by William Lockington.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
From 23 to 27 August, Riverview celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation... The College was founded in 1880 by Fr. Joseph Dalton, He was “wisely daring enough” to purchase a fine property on Lane Cove from Judge Josephson, The property consisted of a cottage containing eight or nine rooms with substantial out offices, and 44 acres of land, at a cost of £4 500. 54 acres were soon added for £1 ,080, and an additional 20 acres later on completed the transaction. This little cottage was the Riverview College of 1880. The modesty of the start may be measured by the facts, that the founder of Riverview, and its first Rector, shared his own bed-room with three of his little pupils , and when the College played its first cricket out match, it could muster only ten boys to meet the opposing team. By the end of the year the number had increased to 15.
In addition to Fr. Dalton's, two other names are inseparably connected with the foundation of Riverview. The first is that of His Grace, Archbishop Vaughan, who invited the Jesuits to Sydney, formally opened the College and gave the Fathers every encouragement.
The second is the name of the great Australian pioneer, the Archpriest Therry. “One hundred years ago”, says one account : “Fr Therry was dreaming of a Jesuit College in Sydney... and when he went to his reward in 1865 he gave it a special place in his final testament”. Fr Lockington called Frs. Dalton and Therry the “co-founders” of Riverview, and added
that it was the wish of the latter to see Irish Jesuits established at Sydney.
An extract from the Catalogue of 1881 will interest many. It is the first time that Riverview is mentioned as a College in the Catalogue :
Collegium et Convictus S. Ignatius
R. P, Josephus Dalton, Sup a die 1 Dec 1879, Proc_ Oper
P. Thomas Gartlan, Min, etc
P. Joannes Ryan, Doc. 2 class. etc
Henricus O'Neill Praef. mor. etc
Domini Auxiliairii duo
Fr. Tom Gartlan is still amongst us, and, thank God, going strong. Soon a brick building (comprising study hall, class rooms and dormitories) wooden chapel, a wooden refectory, were added to the cottage, and in three years the numbers had swelled to 100, most of them day-boys.
The first stage in the history of Riverview was reached in 1889, when the fine block, that up to a recent date served as the College, was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran.
The second stage was closed last August, when, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of a great gathering of Old Boys, the splendid building put up by Fr. Lockington was officially declared ready to receive the ever increasing crowd of boys that are flocking into Riverview. The College can now accommodate three times as many students as did the old block finished in 1889. Not the least striking part of the new building is the Great Assembly Hall erected by the Old Boys as a memorial to their school-fellows who died during the Great War.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Obituary

Fr. William Lockington (1871-1897-1948) – Vice Province of Australia
Tho' born in New Zealand in 1871 Fr. Lockington came of English stock, his father being a former scholar of St. Paul's, London who after his conversion emigrated to New Zealand as a young man. Fr. Lockington was a primary teacher before entering the Society at the age of 26. He made his novitiate at Greenwich under Fr. Sturzo and studied rhetoric at Tullabeg. He made his philosophy at Jersey and Stonyhurst and taught at the Crescent from 1902 to 1907. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1910. He made his tertianship in St. Andrew-on-Hudson in the U.S.A and on his return to Ireland was Socius to the Master of Novices and Minister at Tullabeg. In the autumn of 1913 he returned to Australia and was Superior of St. Ignatius, Richmond and St. Patrick's, Melbourne from 1914-1917 and in the latter year was appointed Superior of the Mission of Australia, a post he held till 1923 when he became Rector of Riverview, Sydney. From 1932 to 1936 he was Superior of the Brisbane Residence and from 1937 to 1937 of St. Ignatius, Richmond. He was the author of “The Soul of Ireland” and “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour”, and a popular retreat director and as a preacher was in the first rank of pulpit orators in Australia. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949
A further notice of Fr. W. Lockington reached us in February, drawing attention to the remarkable fact that two Archbishops preached panegyrics at his obsequies. Archbishop J. Dhuhig of Brisbane preaching in the Church of St. Ignatius, Toowong, Brisbane on October 12th, called him a militant priest in the best sense of the term," and compared his spirit with that of SS. Paul and Ignatius.'' Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne preaching in St. Ignatius Church, Richmond on 21st October paid tribute to him as the “friend of half a lifetime- as preacher and director. A manly, zealous, broadminded, big- hearted Jesuit has gone to his reward”, said His Grace, “may God deal gently with his noble soul”.

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A file of letters from Fr William G. Lockington SJ to Irish Fr Provincial concerning the Mission in Australia. Includes a letter written on board the "Resaro" between Naples and Palermo concerning his success at obtaining two Italian Fathers for the parish of Richmond during a visit to Italy. (nd, 4pp). Includes a letter seeking permission to secure extra ground adjoining St. James' Church in Richmond (23 December 1914, 2pp). Includes a letter summarising points raised at meetings discussing the management of Newman College and the appointment of a Rector. Remarks that Dr. Mannix would like to see Fr Albert Power SJ appointed to the position. Refers to Fr Michael Colman SJ and the problems he is causing for the mission. Remarks that he was the source of much concern while serving as a Military Chaplain. (29 May 1918, 6pp). Includes a letter referring to the purchase of a Catholic paper 'The Advocate' by Dr Mannix. Remarks that the Archbishop (of Melbourne) wishes a Jesuit to become the editor and manager (10 January 1919, 3pp). Includes a report on the Juniorate in Australia by Fr Lockington (23 September 1919, 10pp). Includes a letter referring to the Irish-Australasian Convention to be held in Australia. Remarks that approximately 200,000 people are expected (29 October [1919], 1p). Includes a letter referring to an offer of St. Leo's University to the Jesuits by Dr Duhig, Archbishop of Brisbane. (19 November 1919, 3pp). Includes letters concerning the possibility of Australia becoming an independent mission. Remarks 'There is a very strong feeling of love for Ireland among ours out here and regrets would be keen if a separation came about. Of course all realize that with growth such is the natural course of things but I for one would always be in favour of sending Ours to Ireland for theology. This is a Protestant country with a Protestant atmosphere and a breath of the Catholic atmosphere of Ireland is the best antidote to that I know.' ([1] February 1923, 2pp & 5 October 1924, 4pp).

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2000

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