Monumental effort

Perth Monumental Works stonemasons Martin Clifford and Leon Robotham remove the 123-year-old monument.
Perth Monumental Works stonemasons Martin Clifford and Leon Robotham remove the 123-year-old monument.

NATIONAL Trust of Australia WA (NTAWA) conservation director Sarah Murphy says a 123-year-old monument removed from outside St Andrew’s Uniting Church is “priceless”.

The 4m stone statue was erected in honour of Reverend David Shearer at East Perth Cemetery in 1892 before it was moved to the city church at 36 St Georges Terrace in 1937.

Ms Murphy said it took four-and-a-half hours to remove the monument and transport it to a warehouse for treatment last week.

“It may need cleaning, stabilisation and overall conservation to halt any further deterioration,” she said.

“It’s a great outcome from a heritage point of view – I don’t know its financial value but it is priceless to the people of WA.”

Ms Murphy said the cost to dismantle and move the monument was estimated at $20,000.

The monument is scheduled to be returned to its original East Perth location.

Quintessential Equity bought 36 St Georges Terrace for $17 million to build luxury apartments but company director Shane Quinn said they had sold the option to GP Hotel Perth WA Pty Ltd for $23.75 million and it was expected to be developed into a hotel.

The NTAWA negotiated permission from the Anglican Diocese of Perth for the Uniting Church congregation to use St Bartholomew’s Church from November 8.

Anglican Assistant Bishop Kate Wilmot said the Anglican and Uniting churches had a “very good relationship” across their denominations.

“It wasn’t ever going to be controversial – it was a matter of getting the right permissions and negotiations,” Ms Wilmot said.