St John’s cel­e­brates 130 years


I LOVE God and my coun­try, I hon­our the flag, I will serve the Queen and cheer­fully obey my par­ents, teach­ers and the laws.

This motto was learnt by Vic­to­rian school chil­dren when I was young.

I don’t know if it was Aus­tralia wide, but it was im­por­tant to me, and I have tried to keep all those prom­ises and val­ues go­ing in my life.

Many at St John’s Angli­can Church in Nagambie, have done the same and are still hon­our­ing their faith, coun­try, monarch, and com­mu­nity in which they live many years later, even though things have changed in so­ci­ety. Those base val­ues and ethics are still para­mount to help main­tain a car­ing for one an­other and in keep­ing law and or­der.

Many may not have their par­ents or teach­ers near any­more, but they re­mem­ber what they were taught as pa­tri­o­tism, and be­liefs.

On Sun­day St John’s Angli­can Church cel­e­brated 130 years of faith­ful Chris­tian ser­vice and wit­ness to God, by gen­er­a­tions of parish folk since St John’s was con­se­crated in 1887.

The 130th an­niver­sary morn­ing ser­vice was hon­oured with the pres­ence of its old­est parish­ioner, Edie Perry (Nee Welch), the mayor of Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil Amanda McClaren and her sons, vis­i­tors and present Parish of Cen­tral Goul­burn Angli­can parish­ioners from Avenel, Nagambie and Sey­mour and mem­bers of the Nagambie Lake­side Larks who led the singing.

It was a happy oc­ca­sion for this mile­stone in the small church’s his­tory.

A bring and share lunch was en­joyed in the church hall af­ter the ser­vice.

In the past 130 years many changes have oc­curred.

Edith Perry’s fam­ily have been at­tend­ing the small parish church, (Church of Eng­land) CofE since 1887, and as Angli­can since the 1970s.

Edie’s daugh­ter Lor­raine Web­ster sup­plied this snip­pet of news. Edith’s mother Ellen (Nel­lie) Sul­li­van was born in 1887.

Edith’s grand­mother Leah Sul­li­van, had five chil­dren be­fore that, and she was a CofE church goer and may have ben one help­ing to es­tab­lish the church here.

The orig­i­nal fam­ily of ten were reg­u­lar in at­ten­dance as Edith’s mother and sib­lings.

Edie Perry turned 101 in Septem­ber and was asked to cut the 130th An­niver­sary cake at the end of the 130th an­niver­sary ser­vice in St John’s.

She rep­re­sented the old­est parish­ioner at St John’s and along­side her was Ruth Un­der­wood.

Ruth’s fa­ther, Rev­erend Glenn Wei­der­mann, was the first Rec­tor to live in the new rec­tory be­side St John’s in the 1950s, and Ruth re­mem­bers that from the age of six she and her fam­ily lived there.

So Ruth rep­re­sented the min­is­ter’s fam­i­lies who have served at St John’s.

Fr Gary Ather­ton, the cur­rent priest of the Angli­can Parish of cen­tral Goul­burn con­ducted the ser­vice and stood with Edie and Ruth at the cake cut­ting cer­e­mony rep­re­sent­ing all the min­is­ters and lay peo­ple who had lead the church over 130 years.

Cr McClaren rep­re­sented the civic com­mu­ni­ties and shires the small church would have known over the many years in the dis­trict.

Maybe in th­ese times of vi­o­lence, ad­dic­tions, do­mes­tic, drugs and al­co­hol abuse, wars, sick­ness, home­less­ness, poverty, fam­ily break­downs, sex­ual abuse, the de­sen­si­ti­sa­tion of feel­ings for oth­ers by watch­ing too many mur­ders, movies show and such and other prob­lems have all taken a toll on peo­ple’s be­liefs.

One of the mis­sions now in this ever chang­ing world is for churches to reach out to the com­mu­nity and help them, spir­i­tu­ally, phys­i­cally, and prac­ti­cally.

For de­tails on the Angli­can Parish, con­tact Fr Gary Ather­ton 5799 0283.

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