Snowy Mountains church spooks locals

The reappearance of a historical church in the Old Adaminaby township drowned by the rising waters of Lake Eucumbene in 1957 has spooked locals just over a month after fire destroyed the town's St Mary's church which replaced it.

The Cooma Monaro Express reports that the old church - which was drowned with the rest of Old Adaminaby in metres of water to make way for the Snowy Mountain Scheme - has been uncovered due to the low dam levels.

The steps and some of the brickwork of the Old Adaminaby church are now visible which has spooked some locals who say the timing is weird given the recent fire that destroyed Adaminaby's St Mary's Church in July.

"It's definitely a bit eerie," Stephen Brayshaw, a long-time Adaminaby resident, said. "It's a huge coincidence. Maybe it's a sign, I don't know."

Anglers Reach resident Charleen Walters agreed.

"It's a bit spooky and maybe Old Adaminaby it telling us something - you just don't know. Whatever the case, it's a good opportunity for everyone to come down and see Old Adaminaby's history. It's not every day you get a chance like that."

It's believed that the steps have only appeared once since Old Adaminaby was flooded, and that was back in 1982 when Lake Eucumbene was at a similar low level, the Express says.

Meanwhile, police are continuing their investigation into the midnight fire that destroyed the interior of St Mary's.

According to a Catholic Voice report last month, up to 20 parishioners regularly attended Sunday Mass in St Mary's which was built at Old Adaminaby in 1911 and moved to its present site when the town was covered by water.

Cooma parish priest Fr Joe Tran said the Catholic community of Adaminaby needed time to grieve.

"It has been very hard, particularly for the elderly parishioners," he said. "There is so much history, so many memories."

Resurfacing history spooks locals (Cooma Monaro Express, 7/9/06)
Church fire 'like a death' (Catholic Voice, August 2006)

Sydney fire prompts rush to replace pipe organs (CathNews 16/5/06)
Catholic empathy for Anglicans after Sydney church burns (CathNews 11/5/06)
Fire destroys most of Perth suburban church building (CathNews 7/6/06)

8 Sep 2006