Welcome to the Port Douglas Restoration Society

Port Douglas Australia is located 65km north of Cairns International Airport in Tropical North Queensland.

In 1986, Saint Mary's was the only church left in Port Douglas and in danger of being demolished. Saint Mary's would not be where it is today had it no been for the initiative and determination of Virginia Donovan and Judi Piat to "save" one of the last historic buildings in Port Douglas.

The church building was given to Virginia and Judi by the Catholic Bishop of Cairns provided that the building be put to use as a non-denominational place of worship and for the conduct of weddings, christenings, memorial services and funerals. Judi and Virginia initially formed the "Save the Church" group with some initial generous donations from concerned local residents. The Port Douglas Restoration Society was formed later to assist with fund-raising for the relocation and restoration.

The Douglas Shire Council provided the existing site on the undertaking that the relocation work, restoration and ongoing upkeep and maintenance would never become a burden on the Ratepayer. The Restoration Society has never received funds or other assistance from the Council or any other official body.

St Mary's church was finally moved to the present site on November 11, 1988 and thus began a long and difficult year of restoration. St Mary's By The Sea was formally opened on November 11, 1989.

A popular venue for weddings, couples from all around the world now choose to hold their wedding ceremony at St Mary's by the Sea. Take a virtual tour of St Mary's.

The Port Douglas Restoration Society is a non-profit organisation. All funds raised from weddings, christenings, concerts, funerals and donations are used for the maintenance and improvement of St Mary's by the Sea and other restoration projects.

The Society has made substantial monetary donations to a number of worthy local projects such as the restoration of the Carston's statue in the main street, the Port Douglas Courthouse Restoration project and the Port Douglas Ambulance Service.

The Society will continue to support other worthy causes in future.

Click here for more details and photos of the relocation of the church.

Read more about Port Douglas Australia.

Visit the State Library of Queensland for more information about St Mary's Church and other historical information about Port Douglas Australia.

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