Walter Nicholls [1918-1996], affectionately known as Nick, was a cabinetmaker with a shop opposite the church. He was associated with St Josephs all his life and did much work for the church. When he retired 1980s he joined the Passionists as a brother and was professed on 16 August 1994.
In 1973 Walter Nicholls carved the Blackwood panelling round the sanctuary walls. He also made the vestment cupboards and drawers in the sacristy and in the 1980s the stools, the font [on casters] and, at the back of the church, the display cabinet and small table, both made of old cedar from some of the original square backed pews, with pieces of the altar rails as decoration. He also made a display cabinet [which can serve as an altar] for the side chapel and a pair of chairs and prie dieux for weddings and made a cedar lectern for the pulpit to replace a small brass one.
In 1983 Walter Nicholls completed the present altar and chair of Tasmanian black-wood, based on Pugin designs.
St Jospeh’s Church Hobart, Conservation Management Plan, 2006