The stained glass windows of St Mary's have been restored and installed in the new church. The late Mr. Brendan O'Shea spent endless painstaking hours preserving and strengthening them in 1972.
More About the Windows
In the Avenue a double-stained glass window over the right-hand door way was inscribed "Pray for Antony Mayer".
Antony Mayer was a Swiss, known to the parents of Mr C. Burnett whom he lived near in Blackfrairs Road, London. He worked at Lowden's shop as a watchmaker in 1851. He came to New Zealand in the late I850's and opened a shop in Taupo Quay. He was burnt out in Taylor and Watt's fire in 1861. He then shifted to Victoria Avenue near the New Zealand Clothing Factory, being a tenant of Mr Burnett Snr. who resided nearby. He went home to Switzerland, returning in 1873 with his wife, and established a business at the comer of Maria Place and the Avenue, and later moved next to the Catholic Presbytery where he resided until his death on August II, 1892, aged 69. Two years before he died he entrusted his work to Mr R. Springman who took over the business. Mr Harry Crysell bought the business.
Mr Mayer was a quiet man and much respected in the district. Requiem Mass at St Mary's Church was conducted by Father Kirk, and there was a large cortege. He is buried in the old Catholic cemetery, Heads Road. A marble cross bears his inscription and also that of his wife Frances Mary, who died in 1914, aged 80.
Another window commemorates Doctor Patrick Joseph Connolly, leading surgeon in the township at the tum of the century, and held in very high esteem by all. bears his inscription and also that of his wife, Frances Mary, who died in 1914, aged 80. Notes supplied by his nephew, Chas. McDermott: "L. M. 1868, L.R.C.S. Ireland 1868 state that he practiced as a surgeon in St. Hill Street, Wanganui in 1882. Married Miss O'Brien In Auckland 1887.
The Connolly's son became a doctor and died in Auckland in 1957. A daughter, who became a nun died in 1968. Doctor Connolly lived on the comer of Wicksteed Street and Ingestre Street, and is said to have brought the first fox-hounds to New Zealand. He was a pioneer member of the Jockey Club. Because of ill health he set out on a sea trip in 1904. He died and was buried at sea a few days out of Tenerife. The citizens of Wanganui erected a monument to his memory in the old Catholic Cemetery in Heads Road. The windows were given as a district memorial.
The O'Halloran Family stained glass windows: John O'Halloran donated the windows to St. Mary's about 1927-28 in memory of his parents, brother and sister. He had intended to donate a monstrance but one had just been given at that time. Then we have windows donated by the family of: Johanna Mullins, died 1884, and Anthony Mullins, died 1899. And four magnificent windows donated by: Fr Kirk, the Children of Mary, Offerings obtained by the Sisters and "The Gift of Four Persons". Some of this information was obtained from Brendan's notes, some from Catholic cemetery of Heads Road, and further from the archives of the Public Museum and from Wanganui Herald, August 13-15, 1892.
Mr. David Lundon erected at the rear of the Church a brass plaque to the memory of his wife Annie who died on February I0, 1892. David Lundon and Annie Martin were married in Auckland in 1848. Annie, born 1833, was the daughter of Robert Martin and his wife Ann (nee Halpin). With demolition of the Church the brass plaque was placed in the custody of the Wanganui.
This honours the builder of the first St Mary's, Rev Dean Kirk.