Statue of St. Cecilia 

Inside St. Cecilia's Church on the left hand side, you have no doubt noticed the small statue of St. Cecilia on a plinth above and near the door to the Music Room.St. Cecilia 1  Being the patron saint of musicians, it is a very appropriate location in the Church

The statue and how the parish came to acquire makes for very interesting reading for those so inclined.

In August 2005, the parish was contacted by Patsy Vizents who was at the time the Heritage Coordinator for the City of Gosnells.   Edward Kohler's daughter was living in her family's house in Gosnells but her advancing years had made it imperative for her to vacate the family home.  Edward Kohler had a studio  in the back garden in which were a number of sculptures and other pieces in various stages of completion.    To her credit, Patsy Vizents did her own research and identified the completed statue of St. Cecilia which needed some restoration.    Further, being aware Edward Kohler and his wife had lived in Floreat in the 1950's, she did more research which lead to her contacting our parish.  Of course, St Cecilia's parish was not created by the Archdiocese until 20th March 1960.      There are no records to indicate whether Edward Kohler was commissioned by the Archdiocese or the parish to create the statue.  

 The parish agreed to buy the statue from Edward Kohler's daughter for $300-00 and had it restored.  

Background - Edward [Ted] Kohler  (1890 - 1964)

Edward Kohler was an ANZAC, a member of the 11th Battalion at Gallipoli.  After Gallipoli, he served on various fronts in northern France, where he met his first wife.  After the war, he worked for the Imperial War Graves Commission and then studied to be a sculptor at Lille Academie des Beaux Arts in France.   He worked on a number of commissions in Belgium and France, including the memorial to Marshall Ferdinand Fock, the Allied Commander-in-Chief and a scale model of the Liege War Memorial.   He also worked in Brussels where he undertook small commission for members of the Belgian Royal family with whom he had become a friend.

For various reasons, Edward Kohler returned to W.A. in 1932 leaving his estranged wife and twin sons in Europe.  He found work at the Ajax Plaster Company in West Perth where he became the head sculptor and met his second wife.  After Pietro Porcelli, Edward Kohler was the second professionally trained sculptor to work in W.A.

Some of Edward Kohler's commissions included the large equestrian statue of King George V memorial (unveiled 1938) for the outside of the Brisbane Town Hall.  Other works dating from the 1030's to the early 1960's  include models of commissions for the Catholic Church and a range of works undertaken while he worked for the Ajax Plaster Company.

Commissions in W.A. include:

Talbot Hobbs memorial on Riverside Drive, Perth (1940)
HMAS Perth plaque on the Perth Town Hall (1943?)
The two service medals on the State War Memorial in Kings Park - The Navy and Air Force insignias
Bas relief for the Collie Mine Workers Institute (1952)

Well know religious works in W.A.

Large polychrome Madonna and Child rondo for the Marian Chapel , Sacred Heart Church, Highgate
Statue of the Madonna for the Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet
Statue of Brother Keaney for Bindoon
Statues of St. Charles for St. Charles Seminary in Guildford
Statues for Clontarf Boys Orphanage - eg., Rev. Brother Rice, founder of the Christian brothers
Numerous Stations of the Cross

                                                                                                             St Cecilia 2