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Archives receive Michael Broderick Collection

Article and Photos: By B Spinks

A significant collection of architectural plans for Catholic and civic buildings in Perth dating back to the 1890s were handed over to the Catholic Church in Perth for the archives in Highgate on 1 December.


The Michael Broderick Collection as it will be so known includes about 270 sets of plans and associated paperwork that was held in the Henderson family for three generations until the late Michael Broderick came to own it about 30 years ago.
Members of Michael Broderick’s family were present to witness and hand-over the plans including his wife, Catherine, and four of their five children, Caragh Waller, Roisin Smith and Caitlin Weddikkara and son Eamon Broderick. Aidan Broderick would have liked to be there too but was interstate, Eamon Broderick said of his brother.


Archbishop Barry Hickey received the very valuable Collection of plans on behalf of the Catholic Church Archives in Perth and said that Michael Broderick would be remembered very much in many ways, not least of all in this collection that bears his name.
The Broderick family was glad to donate the Collection to the Archives so that the many hand-drawn and coloured-in plans would be properly preserved, cared for and catalogued because of their nature.
"There are some beautiful drawings here, works of art in their own right as well as historical documents," Mr Broderick said.
The Michael Broderick Collection contains plans for churches, Religious Orders, schools, hospitals, private residences, banks, hotels and commercial buildings.
Catholic buildings make up just over half the collection, while the rest is civic. The Archives accepted the whole collection in accordance with Archival practice, which keeps collections together.
Eamon Broderick said his father received the collection of historic plans because Henderson and Thompson – the third generation of Hendersons to inherit the plans – knew he designed a lot of Catholic schools and that he would look after them.
The plans date back to the late 1890s to the firm founded by Edgar J Henderson, which then fell to his son Edgar Le B Henderson in the 1920s, which then became Henderson and Thompson in the 1950s.
Sr Frances Stibi, the archivist for the Perth Archdiocese invites anyone with an interest in architectural plans to volunteer to help list, accession and store the 16 large boxes of plans.
Among the Collection on display: The original 1898 plans for the Pastoral Centre in Highgate, originally built for the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions and plans for the Chapel at the Catholic Education Office, which was originally built for the Good Shepherd Sisters.

Michael Broderick, Perth architect, honoured

The hand-over of the Michael Broderick Collection was also an opportunity for the Broderick family to come together to honour their father’s memory and his contribution to the Church in Perth.
Eamon Broderick described his father as a history buff and said he took a great personal interest in the Church community and community.
Michael Broderick designed 63 schools and five Catholic churches including St Jerome's in Spearwood, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Esperance and St Kieran's Tuart Hill the last of which won the Clay Brick award for imaginative design.
In semi-retirement, Michael also carried out restorative work on churches such as St Mary's Catholic Church in Leederville and St Patrick's Basilica in Fremantle.
He served as a member of the Architects Board for 20 years including six years as Chairman. He also served as a board member of Catholic Care for the intellectually handicapped for 13 years and St Patrick’s Care Centre, providing practical help to disadvantaged people in Fremantle area.
More than 800 friends and family attended a memorial service for Michael earlier this year.

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