Letters & Stories

Extracts from the Morning Star
Memories From Olive Miller - June/July 1995 Issue

My first memory of Sunday School was at St. Phillips Broadview. My parents house was next but one to the church and I was introduced to Sunday School Songs like "Hear the Pennies Dropping" and bible stories. The best memories concerned the an nual Christmas Tree with its hand outs which were welcome in Depression times.

Later we moved to Beulah Park. My parents werent church goers so I pleased myself and went to Sunday School at Clayton Church with my best friend Thea whose father was a light house keeper. When she left I left too and only went to church sporadically after that until I left home to work in Canberra.

Another friend took me to St. John the Baptist, the pioneer church on the hill at Reid and I later became confirmed there as an adult. This was a busy time in my life which was occupied with membership of church young people's groups and Sunday School teaching which I really enjoyed. I met my husband in Canberra and we were married at St. John's.

When we returned to South Australia I first attended St. Bede's at Semaphore and then at St. Nicholas at Ethelton. There we had a big Sunday School which I ended up in charge of and I found this a real worth while experience. Christmas plays were a lot of work but a lot of fun and I was helped by Kath Grace who played the organ while children in colourful costumes sang and acted parts with their own interpretations.

By this time we had three children and the care of a foster boy who was with us for six years. My husband had a chance to go to Broome in Western Australia. This was a big step which I did not want to take but we went anyway for three years. Two of them were spent in Broome where the only church was used one Sunday by the Methodist minister and the next by the Anglican priest who was based in Derby. I was still teaching Sunday School but in very different surroundings. The town was much smaller then and the European population was outnumbered by those of aboriginal or mixed race descent.

Two years in Broome saw another shift at the end of the year to Darwin where we lived in one of the houses on stilts in an outer suburb. These homes were nearly all alike and the view made one think that we were living in a large barrack complex. The nearest church was St. Peter's Nighcliff. I had given up Sunday School work by now and became interested in work with Guides and Scouts. We only had one year in this northern city and I was not sorry to leave it - it seemed a temporary stop for government servants and no-one's permanent home.

We then spent three years in Whyalla where we had a house on a rise giving a wonderful view of the Gulf and the lights of Port Pirie on clear night. I was doing plenty of voluntary work with the scouting movement and at the school and I had a big gap from regular worship during this time. I don't know why this happened as the children still went to youth groups and Sunday School. We left in 1971 and came back to Adelaide where I commenced full time study. Church going was still an on and off affair but finally I went back to St. Paul's in preference to St. Nicholas where I found that God was still living and He hadn't forgotten me.

Now I go to church regularly and really enjoy the fellowship. Another friend Freda and I polish the brass on a regular basis and look after the records in the office.

I am now what is called the Archivist; a fancy name which means I answer queries regarding the church's history and queries regarding family tree. I have searched so many pioneer families that I feel that I know them as people. The number of families that stayed in the Port and are connected through marriage with local boys and girls is amazing. This suburb of Adelaide has something unique that makes its history an endless canvas full of changing scenes. I am not sorry to live in the Port District and also so near the beach at Semaphore Park.

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PRIEST PROFILE - Ralph Holden - April/May 1996 Issue

Ralph was born in Adelaide, and educated at Mitcham Primary and Unley High Schools. He obtained a civil engineering degree in 1957 while employed by the SA Harbors Board. In 1958 he entered the Baptist Theological College and was Lay Pastor at the Baptist Church, St Marys. The following year he was accepted by Bishop Reed as an Anglican candidate. He obtained a divinity degree and a theology licentiate while at Ridley College (Melbourne). He was made deacon in 1961 and priested the following, being Assistant Curate at St Theodore's Toorak Gardens. From 1963 to 1967 he was priest-in-charge of Cummins - Tumby Bay on Eyre Peninsula, where John Thompson was a lay reader. During this time he married Mary, and their two daughters were born there.

From 1967 to 1974 he was Rector of Minlaton (Yorke Peninsula), and during these years also undertook mission work on the railway from Port Augusta to Cook, and in the Gawler Ranges. One son was born at Minlaton. Ralph was appointed Rector of Good Shephered, Plympton and St. Alban's, Richmond in 1974, the year Andrew was born. In 1978 he became priest-in-charge of West Adelaide Parish (Mile End and Richmond) and also a part-time industrial chaplain.

From 1982 to 1986 he was editor of "The Adelaide Church Guardian" until his resignation of West Adelaide to become State Director of the industrial chaplaincy organisation. Since his "retirement" in 1991 he has been Locum Tenens of several parishes, including Largs Bay, Port Adelaide, Elizabeth and Woodville. Among his other interests are sailing and model railways.

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Our Gal Sal - June/July 1993 Issue

Sally Pentland was born in Tasmania on 26th February. . . . some years after the colony was settled. From an early age, Sally went to Sunday School at St Stephen's church, Sandy Bay, where she spent many hours sitting in the corner! She was later confirmed in the same church (not in the corner) . Sally trained as a nurse at the Royal Hobart Hospital and then ventured overseas by ship, as was the fashion in those "far off days". She came to Adelaide in 1972 and did her midwifery training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Then, she met John!

Sally and John were married at Holy Trinity Church in December 1973 (yes, nearly 20 years!). Their first son ,Sam, was baptised at St Martin's, Campbelltown, and thanks to the then Rector of Campbelltown. the Pentlands were introduced to St Bede's and they have bothered us ever since. Sally and John have two other boys, Tom and Michael, and they all live almost happily at Grange in "the house that John built". Sally works for Drs. Perrett and partners (plug! plug!) and John is working in Sydney ( due to a work transfer). It is likely that the family will eventually move to Sydney, if they ever find the time.

And John He was born in Victoria and came to South Australia while working for Ansett Airlines. After 25 years he packed up and crossed the road to Australian Airlines, now known as Quantas- confusing, isn't it? John spends his leisure time playing golf and supporting the boys in their surfing and lifesaving. His transfer to Sydney is not easy for him as he is very much a family man, and he misses the noise, nagging, fighting - and his dog. Sally spends her leisure time. . . . what leisure time???

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An Old Parishioner Reflects - Feb/March 2005 Issue

Shirley Marston attended the St Bede's 100th anniversary and purchased the history booklet in 1979. Recently on reading through the bequests and memorials she remembered many of the names and wrote to our Joan Thomson providing interesting background thoughts and facts. We hope you enjoy reading Shirley's account of early days in St Bede's. Our family (3 of us) went to St Bede's during the time of the Rev. James Welsh and like it says in the magazine, he was a wonderful preacher (or so my mother said). He never ever read from notes and he captivated everyone's interest. As I grew older was when I began to realize this. He left St Bede's in 1935 and I was married on 20th November 1937, but by the Rev. Frank Hewitson.

Mother, in 1915/16 was living in rooms with a Mr & Mrs Richard Carter when she came down from Port Pirie as my father Shirley Verdon William Marriott had joined the Army and left for the war around April/May 1916. My mother (Hilda) and my father both left England in 1913 and came out to Australia - I think a very bold decision as my father came from a large family and he was the only one to venture so far. 1913 proved to be in recession and just prior to the out break of war in 1914.

However, Ivan my brother had been born in pt Pirie and I turned out to be a 'surprise packet' and was born on 27th December 1916 when my father was overseas. As things turned out mother was always grateful she had me and I was named Shirley, after my father. Needless to say he was called Bill at the war. I have a 1st birthday card written in pencil and sent from France telling me how we would play on the beach when he came home - I treasure this, the nearest contact with my dad - but unfortunately he was killed in August 1918. On one of my trips overseas I went with an English cousin to see my father's grave which is beautifully kept in Harbonnieres. It was Rev James Walsh who came to tell my mother that her husband had been killed in action. It was done that way then.

Mr & Mrs Carter with whom mother lived went to St Bede's and mother being Anglican went along with them. I can remember a lot of names that we got to know which would be in the records from early 20's - Mr & Mrs Wasley and 3 daughters, Gwenda, Daphne and Carlein, Frank and Effie Pickhauer, Mr & Mrs George and Dot George, one of their daughters taught me in Sunday School at Ward Street, also Helen Ranford, Molly Davison who married Chris Gray. I know Marj Wilkinson in her single days - forgotten her maiden surname - just remembered, Marj Lyall. Also I helped teach Sunday school with Mrs McGillicuddy as I got older.

Ivan was in the Choir for a number of years with Mollie's brother Davidson, Cliff McKenzie, Robbie Davies, Nessie Davis, Rob's sister was one of my Sunday school teachers. The Blizzard family lived at the back of our house in Ellen St. Mother had a War Widows house built for her at 14 Company St, Semaphore. My brother Ivan died in 1994 and mother died in 1982. She was 94 and lived a healthy life. They were good days when we were growing up and everyone seemed to be happy. The boys and girls from church, as we were growing up, got around together, life was simple, and very few had cars. As I haven't been back to St Bede's since 1979 I'm wondering how many of the very old group like myself are still alive.

By the way the Choir boys in Rev Welsh's day were all very good singers, but like that age group of boys could be mischievous and they sometimes played tricks on poor Mr Anderson who was the organist then and the organ had to be pumped by hand. Mr Anderson was rather timid but a very nice person and two of the Choir boys were sent down to pump the organ and in the middle of it all, they gradually let the air out of the organ tune quickly ran down the scales with poor Mr Anderson calling to the boys to pump, pump! Typical boys who thought it was funny, all except poor Mr Anderson. I remember all the building on at the Altar but not that clearly. (The Choir boys were known as Jimmie Angels!). St Bede's is a beautiful Church and a wonderful Church to be married in. The wonderful stained glass windows and the beautiful long isle. When I have been down in that area I have tried the front door but naturally it was locked. Not too many churches ~ are kept open these days, due to vandals. I wish you well as I do St Bede's and hope that we will go full circle and people will become interested in following Church again.

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