Letters & Stories
PARISHIONER PROFILE – Keith (Canterbury) Hutton – Aug/Sept 1995 Issue
My early years were spent at Plympton where I attended Glenelg Primary School and Adelaide High. After leaving school, I worked at Perry Engineering in the Accounts Department, and studied accountancy with Hemingway and Robinson, but this was interrupted in 1942 when I joined the RAAF. I did my “rookies” at Rocklands Dam in Victoria, and then moved on to Charters Towers where I spent several months before going on to Merauke in Dutch New Guinea. I was there for both VE Day and VP Day. In October, 1945 I was posted to RAAF Headquarters in Irving Road, Toorak, as Secretary to the Air Officer Commanding and I was there until discharged in December 1946. On discharge, I returned to Perry Engineering as Secretary to Mr Albert Perry.
The next big event in my life was being summoned by Bishop Robin (then Bishop of Adelaide) to become Manager of the Canterbury Book Depot. The first interview was not very pleasant as I told him I didn’t know anything about bookshops, my training was in accountancy, and I certainly didn’t want to take on Canterbury. Bishop Robin told me to go home and pray about it and he would see me in a week’s time. I cheekily told him I could give him my answer right now, whereupon I was dismissed from his presence! Well, I went, didn’t I, and I spent 34 very happy years there, ruling the clergy, and being known as the “Scourge of the Clerge”! It was all great fun. My religious training began at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Plympton, where my mother had been on the Building Committee of the new Church (1925). At age 13, and on Christmas Day, I was compelled to play the organ because the elderly Organist had fallen and broken her arm, and I remained at the organ until I joined the Air Force.
I have served as Organist at St Paul’s Port Adelaide, St Peter’s Glenelg, St Agnes’ Grange, St Francis’ Edwardstown, and finally at St Bede’s Semaphore, where I was “conned” by Joan Thomson to at least get them through the Christmas music. I have never had my appointment confirmed and have been here since December 1984, and have enjoyed both it and the wonderful friends I have made here. It is a wonderfully friendly parish. I was also Honorary Secretary of the Diocesan Retreat House for over 30 years and this took a great deal of my time and energy.
Since retiring, I have had four wonderful trips to England and the Continent. With my friend Tony Whitehill, from the Botanical Gardens, I have visited the wonderful gardens of Monet in Giverney, Villandry and Fountainbleu, all in France, and the oldest courtyard garden in the world at Alhambra Palace in Madrid. A few other highlights were a personally conducted tour of Lambeth Palace(the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Runcie were abroad and I was allowed to play Mrs Runcie’s piano), a wonderful performance of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at the famous Glyndebourne and some lovely stays in my very favourite city, Salzburg, the home of Mozart. I have also been fortunate enough to attend the Oberammergau Passion Play and to visit the Holy Land. I am thankful that the Lord has granted me so many wonderful opportunities in life.