St Joseph's Mission, Daly River opened at New Uniya in 1891. Run by Jesuit missionaries, it replaced the Queen of the Holy Rosary Mission. Although missionaries set up a school for children, no dormitories were built. The mission was forced to close in 1899 due to severe flooding.
St Joseph's Mission, Daly River was opened at a site known as New Uniya by Jesuit missionaries in 1891. It replaced the Queen of the Holy Rosary Mission. A land grant to the mission from the South Australian government included 300 acres of farming land about 60 miles from the mouth of the river.
In an article published in 1892, one of the missionaries, Father Strehle, stated that:
The blacks leave their children with us readily to educate, but our funds will not allow us to support more than 15 or 20.
It appears that no dormitory facilities were built as the missionaries complained that parents often took their children into the bush, away from missionary influence.
As well as opening a school for the children, missionaries aimed to train older Aboriginal people in the area in farming. They encouraged young people to marry and take up fenced portions of land for growing rice, maize, corn and sweet potatoes.
These plans were not fully realised because the mission was forced to close in 1899 after buildings and farmland were destroyed by flooding.
1886 - 1891 Queen of the Holy Rosary Mission
1891 - 1899 St Joseph's Mission, Daly River
Sources used to compile this entry: 'AMONG THE NORTHERN BLACKS.', Freeman's Journal (Sydney), 10 December 1892, p. 18, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111325194; 'The Daly River Mission', Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 14 July 1899, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4236272; Jolly, Rhonda, 'A failed venture: The Jesuit Mission at Rapid Creek 1882-1891', Journal of Northern Territory History, vol. 11, 2000, pp. 87-100; Our Story: History of NT Church, The Diocese of Darwin, The Catholic Church in the Northern Territory, https://web.archive.org/web/20160303225601/http://www.darwin.catholic.org.au/our-story/history-nt-church.htm.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 14 February 2011, Last modified: 7 August 2014