John Cyril Hawes was born at Richmond near London on September 7, 1876 and baptised an Anglican. He qualified as an architect in 1897. In 1911 he converted to Catholicism and studied for the Catholic priesthood. After his ordination in Rome in 1915 he came to the Diocese of Geraldton at the invitation of Bishop William B Kelly.
During his 24 years in the Diocese of Geraldton, Monsignor Hawes designed 44 buildings, 29 of which were built. He physically assisted in the construction of five, including the world famous Saint Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Geraldton and Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Mullewa.
In 1939 he left for the Bahamas where he lived as a Franciscan hermit on Cat Island until his death in 1956.
Monsignor John Cyril Hawes is remembered not only as a priest and an architect but also as a talented craftsman, sculptor, painter, horseman and poet.
Discover the man behind Australia's most unique collection of Arts and Crafts Buildings. The Heritage Centre tells the story of Monsignor Hawes, Priest and Architect.
The Heritage Centre is located adjacent to St Francis Xavier Cathedral at 56 Cathedral Ave Geraldton.