Fr. John McEvoy

The remaining year and a half of my first mission term was spent in Tamavua as an assistant to J.J. O' Loughlin while Gerry devoted his full-time energy to being Chancellor of the Archdiocese. The people of Tamavua at this time ('75 -'77) were also gathering funds to erect a church within the parish.
Up until now from 1968 the parish made do with a wooden hall (put up by Arthur Tierney) when Tamavua Parish was cut off from St Agnes, Samabula. There was a piece of land opposite the church hall and the then Columban house in Lakeba St. The Parish Council were determined to put up the new church on this piece of land.
On many occasions I challenged them at meetings regarding the wisdom of building on this site as it was in no way near the center of the parish. A piece of land came up for sale on the corner of Princes Rd. and Mead Rd.
Once again, I tried to persuade the parish to try and buy this big site and make it the parish center as it also backed onto Villa Maria which is also owned by the Archdiocese. At one of these meetings things became rather heated and the then Chairman of the Parish Council stood up and warned me that if I ever mentioned this topic again that he would report me to the bishop and have me removed from the parish. I guess I rested my case with that.
The site was eventually bought by Morris Hedstrom and developed into the present shopping complex with plenty of space and parking all around. The new St Joseph the Worker Church was eventually built on Lakeba St site and hemmed in by the then Columban house. Good luck, bad luck who knows? If the church was not built on that site, the Columbans might never have moved to Nasese!!