Preservation of Farina, and All Saints Anglican Church
We were back on bitumen as soon as we departed Marree and made good progress South. As the turn off to the Old Ghan railway township of Farina approached, we went through the ‘will we, won't we’ ritual and fortunately decided to divert and take a look as it was some years since our last visit.
We were so happy we did this as we were greeted by a bevy of Grey Nomad volunteers who were camped on the edge of town and productively engaged in a range of activities. The underground bakery oven has been restored and was in the capable hands of a nomadic baker and the ‘heavy fruit loaf’ we purchased was top drawer. Volunteers are working as greeters and guides, in the cafeteria/bakery and in several of the ruined buildings. The aim of the ‘builders’ is not to restore the buildings but to limit any further deterioration and to make them safe for visitors. This is a project worked on over the cooler months and there are years of work ahead. The skill sets of Australia’s Grey Nomad population are simply amazing and the whole project is like a gigantic men’s shed, but pleasingly there are ladies on the tools as well.
We found the site of All Saints Anglican Church, Farina. It was a timber church so there is little remaining except for the humble bell tower with a replica steel ‘cut out’ bell. If you click on the first photo of this blog you will see it. We read the story board and reflected on what life must have been like when that little church was active and a vital part of that remote community. The preservation of Farina is a wonderful project!