Windows of St Bede’s – St Mary Magdalene
The Mary Magdalene window is the generous gift of Mrs. Merle Marten to St. Bede’s Church, Semaphore. The John the Baptist window is dedicated in loving memory of Merle’s late husband, Roy Marten.
Squadron Leader H.C. Roy Marten served King and Country in Burma , China , and India as a member of both RAF and RAAF during Second World War.
For over 25 years he enjoyed serving the local community as Mayor and Council Member of the City of Port Adelaide . He was the founder and benefactor of Marten Village for the Aged and served as President of the Port Adelaide Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade until his death. Mrs. Marten now continues this service to St. John .
Roy ‘s association with a wide variety of community organisations made him one of Port Adelaide’s best known sons. In recognition of his long commitment to service Roy was invested as a commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981.
Roy Marten was a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, an organisation which continues the chivalric virtues of charity and compassionate service through its support of projects such as the Mary Potter Foundation. The Baptist window contains a roundel bearing the white Maltese cross against a red background, which is the emblem of the Order.
The window shows Mary Magdalene in the garden on the first Easter morning. According to tradition, Mary is shown with long auburn hair and a red robe. In her left hand she carries a jar of ointment which she is bringing to the tomb so that she can anoint the lifeless body of Jesus. However, as she approaches the tomb, which can be seen just below her elbow, she hears someone, and turns to meet the Risen Lord. Her face shows apprehension and surprise as she tries to understand what has happened. In the background, the city of Jerusalem can be seen as dawn begins to light the sky. In the top part of the window is the insignia of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem to which Mrs. Merle Marten belongs. The insignia is surrounded by Sturt’s Desert Pea. The border of the window is sprigs of Australian wattle. These flowers are reversed in the other window of the pair.
This window is linked thematically with John the Baptist as he was the last in the line of great prophets of the Old Testament tradition, was the herald of the coming of Christ. Mary Magdalene, as the first witness to the Resurrection, is the first in the line of faithful followers of the Risen Christ. She has been called the “apostle to the Apostles.” Both characters point away from themselves, towards Jesus.