St James Whyalla

Why is there a “St James” in Whyalla? Our Christian name, St James, is the only self chosen part of our local organization name. One of the main reasons for choosing St James was because this James was a follower and disciple of Jesus. We do not idolise St James the person, as if he were better than Jesus or that he is in some way superior to other people. But like St James, we value and do what is in harmony with what Jesus taught and did. Over the centuries a mentor status has been attributed to St James by the Christian Church, and to a lesser extent by the general public in some countries.

St James was a mentor for who? St James, the Patron Saint of Labours.

How Come? The most telling incident that bought James a patron saint status was that long after his death, an extraordinary helpful occurrence was attributed to St James in the battle of Clavijo in Spain where the locals were fighting against the Moors.

Over the centuries labourers have sometimes been a used and abused group of people. St James became their adopted spiritual patron because … St James has this reputation of “fighting for the common people”, He was a close friend and disciple of Jesus, thereby seemingly being “well connected”, He was a fisherman (a somewhat labour intensive task in his day.

Why in Whyalla? Especially in our early “hay days” Whyalla had the ship building and steel works. This meant there were al lot of labourers in Whyalla. The ships to fishing boats is a loose connection back to St James the fisherman.

Other reasons: St James the fisherman: Whyalla is on the coast with good fishing and famous sea life, for example the cuttle fish at Point Lowly; the snapper fishing competition; the King fish farming, and all the other fish in the waters off Whyalla. An obvious connection! St James’ nick name “Son of Thunder” a man of real conviction in what he was doing.