Story of a migrant settlement
DAYBORO Catholic Community’s story begins with the first immigrant settlers in the area, known originally as Hamilton, and later Terrors Creek, after Captain Griffin’s stallion Terah.
It became known as Dayboro in 1917. European settlement began with the Moreton Bay penal colony in 1824 and the arrival shortly after of the first free settlers.
But long before the white man came, the Turbal Aboriginal people lived, hunted and fished in the area. John McKenzie, the first known white settler, apparently got on well with them.
But closer settlement with land clearing and destruction of wildlife and the introduction of diseases destroyed their way of life and by 1886 records show there were no Aboriginal people left in the area.
Transport problems did not stop the Dayboro area’s first Catholics from coming together to celebrate their faith even though there was no church building. There are early records of Mass “stations” where people gathered to celebrate Eucharist when a priest was in the area. These “stations” were private homes in such places as Whiteside and Petrie. The first recorded Mass in the region was celebrated at Samford station on November 16, 1875.
Priests are known to have come to the area from Caboolture and may have come also from Kedron. They arrived on horseback on Saturdays, staying overnight for Sunday Mass. Fr Andrew Monaghan was the first to ride over the hills. Others followed: Fr Ryan in 1891, Fr William Byrne in 1907, Fr Baldwin in 1909 and Fr Andrew Wright from 1918-20. By the mid-1890s the need for a church at Dayboro was apparent and impetus for its construction came from Rody Cruice. The Cruice family history records that Rody, 36, and wife Maria (nee Boyle), 25, arrived in Terrors Creek from Gympie in 1870, with three sons.
Their fourth child, Joseph, born on January 2, 1872, was the first white male born in the district and the first Cruice baptised in the fledgling Catholic community. Over the next 15 years six more children were born. They were initiated into the Church community by Rody and Maria with minimal priestly instruction and with the sacraments conferred in unknown venues.
Finally the first church was built by John Bond, whose son Bertram, was the first baby baptised in it. A correspondent for the Brisbane press reported that the church was “of the best timber and is about 30 ft (10 m) long by about 20 ft (6.5 m) wide … the cost about £160” ($320). St Francis Xavier Church has been altered over the years but continues to serve the Dayboro community.