Saint Augustine’s Cathedral, Port Elizabeth, Cape Province. The spire of St. Augustine’s Cathedral dominates the harbour of Algoa Bay and can be seen by all who enter that seaport. The Church, in pure Gothic design, stands as a monument to Father Thomas Murphy, who superintended the laying of every stone and almost the driving of every nail used in the erection of the building. The foundation-stone was laid on 3 December 1861, and the Cathedral was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Patrick Moran on 25 April 1866, when it was opened, free of debt.
Father Murphy collected untiringly for the funds in weekly collections and in actual money was the largest contributor. The walls had risen almost to roof level when, in a violent gale of wind, a large part of them collapsed and a loss of £800 was incurred. But so admired and respected was the `good Pastor’ that both Protestants and Catholics came forward with donations to repair the damage. St. Augustine’s is named after the famous Bishop of North Africa. Father Murphy is buried near the side altar within the building. His successor in office, another Father Murphy (later bishop of Port Elizabeth), undertook major repairs and improvements at a cost of over R50 000.
“a plain Gothic building with a handsome tower and spire and one of the largest and best bells in South Africa.”