On 7 July 1948 Mr and Mrs Austin-Smith invited the Convent community of about 50 sisters, novices and postulants to a picnic on their farm Stockdale. Seeing their simple joy and happiness had reminded him of his own boyhood, when poor and friendless, he had immigrated to South Africa.
The Holy Cross Sisters in Cambridge had educated his 2 children, who had died in 1939 and 1948.
On 9 July he approached the Provincial Superior, Sr Gertrudis Weissenberger that he had decided to give the Farm to the Sisters, hoping it would be a place to which sick and aged Sisters could retire.
In 1952 a small Farm School was opened and in the same year a prefab Mission Church was erected. The number of pupils varied between 99 in 1982 and 30 +/-the last few years; the school catered for 6 Standards (Grades).
In 2002 Mount Carmel Primary School was joined to Holy Cross Primary School, Aliwal North as a Satellite School. At the end of 2005 the School was closed.
Helpers from the Farm had prepared a good meal for everyone to end a happy, peaceful day.
Mt. Carmel Farm was handed over to the Aliwal Diocese at the end of 2010.
As part of that process the prefab church was closed on 27th April 2010. It will in future be used as a Hall for the work with the youth of the Diocese.
Bishop Michael Wüstenberg with 8 priests celebrated a solemn Thanksgiving Mass. Sisters of Holy Cross and Sacred Heart, the Senate of the Diocese, Farm workers with their families, guests from the neighbouring farms and the choir of St. Francis Mission of Dukathole filled the Church.
The Bishop thanked all Holy Cross Sisters who had contributed to the development of the Church on Mt Carmel Farm.
It was a moving moment when the Blessed Sacrament was taken out, the Tabernacle left open and the Sanctuary Light turned off. The beautiful beg Crucifix was taken down, also the Stations of the Cross and in a dignified procession all sacred items were transferred to the Chapel of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel where the last Blessing was given. Bishop Michael expressed the hope that the future of Mt. Carmel will be a great blessing for the Diocese of Aliwal.