Christian Brothers Agricultural School – Tardun
Hawes began working on designs for the Christian Brothers Agricultural School at Tardun in the 1930’s. It was to be part of the Brothers’ complex of orphanage/educational institutions which included Contarf and Bindoon. The foundation stone on the east wing was laid in 1936 and it was blessed in December by Bishop I’Collins.
Tardun is 40 kms south of Mullewa. The Christian Brothers had taken up land there in 1927 and it was planned that the boys would be taught agricultural skills and those who showed aptitude could apply for grants through the Government.
Hawes was familiar with the Brothers and their plans as he was the parish priest at Mullewa at the time and had established a 2nd Mass Rock in the area. A plaque at the ‘old camp site’ commemorates this.
The buildings were completed over many years by Berry Brothers of Perth with cement bricks made at the school by the staff and students. The staff and students were also responsible for the making of cement pillars and the plumbing and painting.
This work saved over 50% of the estimated cost of the building which was £4,500. The planned tower was never built and the lack of labour and materials during these times is responsible for the rough finish and the omission of many of Hawes’s design features.
Visiting the building
St Mary's is now privately owned and not open to the public.