Scharmer, Vincenz, 1858-1923, Jesuit brother

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Scharmer, Vincenz, 1858-1923, Jesuit brother

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Vincent Scharmer

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

19 July 1858-23 January 1923


Born: 19 July 1858, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
Entered: 14 August 1879, Sevenhill, Australia - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Final vows: 08 September 1890
Died: 23 January 1923, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed : ASR-HUN to HIB 01 January 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was an Austrian Province Brother whom elected to stay with the Irish Fathers when they took responsibility for the Australian Mission in 1901.
1910 He was at Sevenhill
1912 He was at Xavier College, Kew, and he died in Melbourne 23 January 1923

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Vincent Scharmer entered the Society at St Andra, 14 August 1879, and after vows worked as a carpenter at Kalocsa, Hungary He arrived in Adelaide, 13 December 1883, and, with Josef Conrath, went to the Northern Territory Mission, 24 January 1884. He worked as a builder and carpenter during his time in Australia, first at Rapid Creek, 188489, and then at the Daly River, 1890-99. He also performed whatever domestic duties were required, which included caring for the Aborigines and sacristan. He went to Sevenhill, 1899-10, and finally to Xavier College, Kew, 1910-23.
He was a man of powerful physique, and an excellent carpenter. He was most valuable building structures on the Northern Territory Mission and had a reputation among the Aborigines for proficiency in the use of firearms. He saved the mission station on one occasion from the attack of some Aborigines by firing over their heads.
He had a most picturesque and unusual personality. At Xavier College he was so good with finances that he saved the college large sums of money. He carried out every duty entrusted to him with great thoroughness and even combativeness, for which he was known as “the Old Watch Dog”. He had a rugged appearance and an iron will. in performing functions he cared not for anyone except superiors. Directions were carried out to the letter. He even refused entrance at the Xavier gates to the current mission superior, until his identity was made clear.
There was something of the Prussian drill-sergeant in him. He kept four cats for his cellars, and they were all drilled like dragoons. He did much business over the telephone, and hearing him issuing orders gave one an admiration for the interpretative powers of Australian tradesmen. He was not easy to understand, yet the goods always appeared at the college.
He was also a skilled mechanic, a strenuous worker, and orderly to the last degree. His somewhat dour character was enlivened by a grim kind of humour. He loved a joke. Despite increasing sickness, he continued working for as long as he could stand on his feet. He was, indeed, a true and faithful soldier. with genuine kind-heartedness and much generosity.

Note from Friedrich Schwarz Entry
Frederick Schwarz entered the Society 29 July 1874, and arrived in Adelaide with Josef Conrath and Vinzenz Scharmer, 13 December 1883.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1923


Brother Vincent Scharmer SJ

(Born in the Tyrol, July, 1858;. entered the Austrian Province of the Society, August 14, 1879; came to Australia and spent some years on the Austrian Mission to the blacks in the Northern Territory; came to Xavier in 1910 and died there on the 23rd of January, 1923.)

In Brother Vincent Scharmer the College lost a most useful and devoted servant and a picturesque, if somewhat unusual, personality. In charge of the commissariat department, he saved the College large sums of money by his excellent management and avoidance of all waste. He carried out every duty entrusted to him with such thoroughness and, at times, combativeness, that he was popularly known as “the Old Watch Dog”. He liked that title, and it truly described him. He was somewhat rugged, both in appearance and in character, and had a will - or an obstinacy - of the wrought iron quality.

In carrying out instructions he cared not a jot for anyone except his superiors, and it was felt by all that to make him swerve from his instructions it would be necessary to pass over his dead body. If he was told to allow no one through a certain gate on a certain occasion, the Prime Minister or the Governor-General himself would have sought admittance in vain. In carrying out even such a task on one occasion he “put his foot in it” very badly. During the College Sports he was sent to the Minister to hold the gate on the back avenue and to allow no one through without a ticket. This was a precaution against the admission of undesirables. Brother Vincent made no invidious distinctions: he carried out his instructions to the letter, Several meritorious visitors without tickets had to look for admission elsewhere. Whether they were doctors or lawyers or members of Parliament mattered not in the least to Brother Scharmer. Then came along a tall and stately reverend gentleman, no less a personage than his own highest superior, Father T Brown, the head of all the Jesuit houses in Australia, but whom Brother Vincent had never seen before. “Tickets; please!” said he, blocking the way. Father Brown was highly amused, and not yet revealing his identity, maintained that he had no need of a ticket, “Your Reverence can't pass!” he said. And the sentry barred the way to his general! Father Brown tried every argument to effect an entry, but in vain. Only when he revealed his identity were the gates thrown open.

Brother Scharmer was a Tyrolese, but he had something in him of the Prussian drill-serjeant. He kept four cats for his cellars, and they were all drilled like dragoons. Every evening he whistled for them at a certain hour, and they came tumbling over one another to be at their posts on time. Not exactly that they loved him, but because they were trained on the strict military plan and dared not violate the regulations. Then they followed him down to the cellars, and each was locked into its respective dungeon. He gave away nothing to the mice.

He did a lot of business on the telephone. To hear him issuing orders gave you a high idea of the interpretative powers of our Australian tradesmen. It was little short of the miraculous that any of them ever understood a single word of his mumblings through the phone. Yet the goods came in all right - as a rule; but not always. One day le ordered as follows: “Ten backs off flour fifty pounds eack-ke”. This meant, “Ten bags of four of fifty pounds weight each”. He repeated the order five times, and the Kew grocer, despite his remarkable powers of interpretation, despatched 10 bags of four and 50 pounds of treacle!

He was a skilled mechanic, a strenuous worker, orderly to the last degree in all his business arrangements, and, as we have seen, faithful to a fault in all his appointed tasks. His somewhat dour character was enlivened by a grim kind, of humour; he loved a joke. His manful and religious disposition shone out conspicuously in the closing year of his life. He suffered much, but never repined. While clearly a dying man and unable to retain solid food in his stomach, and later on unable to swallow anything but liquid nourishment - and that with the greatest difficulty, he continued to work as long as he could stand on his feet. Undismayed by the approach of death, he treated in his grim way the break down of his physical forces almost as a joke.

He was a true and a strong man, a faithful soldier who never faltered at the word of command, and his genuine kind heartedness endeared him to everyone who knew him long enough to get a glimpse of the sterling qualities that lay beneath his rugged and unbending exterior. May the Lord rest his soul!

E Boylan SJ


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Austriacae-Hungaricae Province of the Society of Jesus

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship


Type of relationship

Austriacae-Hungaricae Province of the Society of Jesus


Scharmer, Vincenz, 1858-1923, Jesuit brother

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Entered Province.

Related entity

Austro-Hungarian Mission to Australia, 1848-1901 (1848-1901)

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship


Type of relationship

Austro-Hungarian Mission to Australia, 1848-1901


Scharmer, Vincenz, 1858-1923, Jesuit brother

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Worked in.

Access points area

Subject access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

IE IJA J/397

Maintained by

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes