Built in a day!

A church in Badger Creek was built in a day. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Bryn Jones

Almost from its foundation Badger Creek near Healesville developed a strong sense of ‘community’.

Although there had been some scattered farms earlier, the gradual development of the area on 2,400 acres revoked from Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve, began in 1894 as the result of the Victorian Government’s Settlement of Lands Act, an attempt by government to combat the severe depression of the 1890s.

From the beginning the community, including Coranderrk residents, shared a capacity for self help.

Nowhere was this more evident than the construction of a church in 1913 and the erection of the Progress Association Hall in 1924.

The remarkable story of the Church was recorded in the ‘Healesville and Yarra Glen Guardian’ on 14 November 1913.

A part of that account is reprinted here.

For fourteen days Mr W Hurstone earnestly canvassed the district seeking to obtain volunteers for the work (of building the church).

He ‘buttonholed’ every man he came across in street or shop.. “I want you to give a day on Saturday the 8th to help build a church in Badger Creek” – and let it be said to their credit not a man refused; in fact, they eagerly accepted the invitation.

At fifteen minutes to five on the Saturday morning the first man arrived.

Others soon followed.

Builders, carpenters, plumbers, painters, farmers and labourers – indeed anyone willing and able to help – worked hard, skilfully and with great goodwill. Remarkably, the

building was erected, painted and finished (except for some ‘inside work’) as darkness settled down.

The church had been built in a single day! Divine Services were held the following day, a Sunday.

Sadly, on Sunday 14 February 1926 during the bushfires raging in the district, the building was burned to the ground in 15 minutes, 13 years after it was built.

Nothing was saved.

A new church was built in 1928, but the congregation declined over the years and the building was sold and removed in the 1970s.

Before the fires of 1926 the Badger Creek community recognised the need also for a ‘community hall’.

This was built and opened in February 1925.

In February 2025, the Badger Creek community is planning celebrations for the hall’s centenary.