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St Joseph’s Catholic Church

St Joseph's Church, Port Melbourne
St Joseph’s Church, Port Melbourne

This small bluestone church was built in 1881.

It was an important part of our family life for many years. My parents Robert Kilpatrick and Bette Jago were married there in 1943, during World War 2. The photo shows my father wearing his R.A.A.F. uniform and my mother wearing the suit made by her aunt from material obtained with clothing coupons donated by family members.

The marriage of Robert Kilpatrick and Bette Jago at St Joseph's Church, 1943
The marriage of Robert Kilpatrick and Bette Jago at St Joseph’s Church, 1943

My brother Robert and I were baptised there.

We went to St Joseph’s Primary School and one of my memories of this time was of the whole school walking down Rouse Street to church every Friday, for Benediction. This was a beautiful service with organ music, candles, incense and hymns. I loved it.

I was married at Saint Joseph’s Church on 16th November 1968.

Joy Phillips' (née Kilpatrick) wedding at St Joseph's Church, November 1968.
Joy Phillips’ (née Kilpatrick) wedding at St Joseph’s Church, November 1968.

My aunt, Maureen Kilpatrick, played the organ at the church for many years. My parents and other family members were buried from there. At the rear of the church there is a remembrance wall. My aunt, Irene North, was one of the first parishioners to reserve spaces here for herself and her sisters, Bette Kilpatrick (my mother), Maureen Kilpatrick, Nell Rawlings and Marge Reilly, all of whom had an important connection to Port Melbourne and St Joseph’s Church.

Remembrance Wall, St Joseph's Church, Port Melbourne
Remembrance Wall, St Joseph’s Church, Port Melbourne

Joy Phillips

Joy’s entry was judged as joint People’s Choice winner in the PMHPS My Port Melbourne Photo Competition.


  • Jan Shine
    Posted July 15, 2023 1.48 pm 0Likes

    My Dad, Albert Tucker Jnr, attended St Joseph’s, baptised there and his funeral was celebrated there. My three older sisters, Phyllis, Ellen and Brenda along with my brother Denis all attended school there. We were all baptised at St Joey’s. My sister Ellen was married there 22.12.1956. Brenda was a bridesmaid and I was flower girl. We moved from Port Melbourne in 1955, so I didn’t get to attend St Joseph’s nor my younger brother Neil. We heard all the stories of family members who attended there. My grandfather (Albert Tucker) was Mayor of Port Melbourne on two occasions, 1916/17 and later 1926/27. My grandmother, (Ellen Tucker nee Mangan) her family were all church members. I hope the history of St Joseph’s remains.

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.