Parish History 1888–1968: Chapter 9

For the full table of contents and a PDF of the booklet, which includes photos, see the Parish History 1888–1968.

Church Government, Organisations and Guilds

The management of the parish is in the hands of the Rector and his two Wardens, one appointed by him, the other elected by the people; they are assisted by an advisory council of any number from 3 to 21 that is divisible by 3.

This is so decided to enable the Rector to appoint one-third of the council and for the people to elect the remaining two-thirds.

This year’s council, known as the parochial or parish council consists of 21 men with representation of each centre within the parish. All are appointed and elected as are the wardens at the annual meeting of the church held within thirty days following the end of the financial year, March 31.

The following is a list of wardens of ST. ANDREW’S from 1889 to the present day.

Rector’s WardensPeople’s Wardens
1889-93G. L. Hart1889-93J. R. Newman-Wilson
1893-94W. Heath1893-94H. S. Dutton
1894-96G. Day1884-96E. D. Bird
1896-97A. Stewart1896-97F. W. S. Whitchurch
1897-98A. Stewart and Littleton Groom1897-98F. W. S. Whitchurch
1898-1900Littleton Groom1898-1900F. W. S. Whitchurch
1900-01Littleton Groom1900-01T. Neilson  also E. D. Bird
1901-07W. Page Gray also W. H. Hart1901-07T. Neilson  also E. D. Bird
1907-09W. Page Gray also W. H. Hart1907-09A. P. Leslie
1909-10J. W. Philpott1909-10R. C. R. Newman
1910-11J. Parkinson1910-11R. C. R. Newman
1911-12G. Matters1911-12F. B. Steele
1912-13G. Matters1912-13F. Bellingham
1913-14H. B. Caldwell1913-14F. Bellingham
1914-15Fred Brimson1914-15C. S. Eden
1915-17Fred Brimson1915-17E. G.Sanders
1917-20Fred Brimson1917-20R. L. Jackson
1920-21Fred Brimson1920-21D. M. T. Forster
1921-22G. S. Crouch1921-22D. M. T. Forster
1922-23Charles Beswick1922-23Herbert Manners
1923-24D. M. T. Forster1923-24J. W. Townson
1924-26Charles Beswick1924-26W. W. Dopson
1926-28F. Earle1928-28W. W. Dopson
1928-33D. M. T. Forster1928-33H. S. Mapleton
1933-34Percy Brier1933-34D. M. T. Forster
1934-36Percy Brier1934-36C. S. Eden
1936-38Percy Brier1936-38H. O. Pluckrose
1938-40Percy Brier1938-40Harry Wade
1940-47Percy Brier1940-47Cyril Burcher
1947-57Percy Brier1947-57Peter Smith
1957-58Percy Brier1957-58J. D Macfarlane
1958-59A. J. Dickenson1958-59Charles Beswick
1959-61A. J. Dickenson1959-61C. D. Thomas
1961-88A. J. Dickenson1961-68Capel Greenway
1968-69A. J. Dickenson1968-69Douglas Stehr

On some occasions there appears to have been a change of wardens within the church year, as in 1897, L. E. Groom (later the Hon. Sir Lyttleton E. Groom) and in 1920 Messrs. Crouch and Townson; in 1933 two people’s wardens and in 1940 Dr. Sherwood and Mr. Bellingham acted for three months only and Messrs. Percy Brier and Cyril Burcher took over — the former having stood down for a short period

Rector’s WardensPeople’s Wardens
1937-38T. C. Brooks1937-38W. D. Huggins
1938-42T. C. Brooks1938-42Fred Harper
1942-45Harry Prowd1942-45Fred Harper
1945-47C. Waugh1945-47Fred Harper
1947-48H. A. Sweetser1947-48Fred Harper
1948-51Fred Harper1948-51Secretary Alan Case
1951-54Alan Case1951-54Secretary J. Paterson, Treasurer Alan Case
1954-58W. D. Huggins1954-58 Alan Case
1958-69Jim Lobban1958-69W. D. Huggins
Rector’s WardensPeople’s Wardens
1961-63Roy Cooper1961-63R. A. Horsnell
1963-67Roy Cooper1963-67D. W. W. Jones
1967-69S. I. J. Parkin1967-69D. W. W. Jones
Rector’s  WardensPeople’s Wardens
1961-62Alan Case1961-67Norman Walker
1962-63R. Pyle
1963-65Jim Shepherd
1965-66Dr. J. Hawker
1966-69F. G. Barnett1967-69J. A. Drury
 Rector’s WardensPeople’s Wardens
1968-J. A. Crozier1968-Lex Morley

Parish Organisations

(1) St. Andrew’s and St. Peter’s Womens’ Guilds (W.G.)

Many years ago a Womens’ Guild was formed at St. Andrew’s and has functioned steadily ever since. As has been stated previously this guild was a great help to the wardens during the lean years following World War II, by raising money through fetes and other ways for general funds as well as for necessary repairs.

They worked for and paid for the carpet in the chancel and aisle of the old church.

Since the commencement of the planned-giving scheme under the Wells Organisation the activities of the guild have been directed into other channels such as visiting the homes for aged women, and making excursions to other works of the Home Mission.

Further details of the guild’s activity will be found in the reports submitted to the Easter meetings; one interesting item was (or is) that by tradition the supper following Evensong on St. Andrew’s night is convened and served by the Women’s Guild.

In 1964, on the Rector’s suggestion, they presented to St. Andrew’s, a set of purple vestments; this was instead of the usual monetary donations previously given at St. Andrew’s tide.

St. Peter’s Women’s Guild works independently from St. Andrew’s, but follows mainly the same policy and activity.

This guild has also visited the Nielson Home at Chelmer and entertained the inmates as well as St. Andrew’s Guild at St. Peter’s.

It is interesting to note that both guilds pay visits to the Seven Oaks Spastic Centre at Fig Tree Pocket, work for missions and help in the cleaning of the church and especially the brassware on the altar.

(2) Church of England Men’s Society {C.E.M.S.)

This is the male counterpart of the Women’s Guild; it is a parish society consisting of members from each centre of the parish who are pledged to follow a rule of life: —

  1. to pray to God every day,
  2. to be a faithful communicant,
  3. by active witness, fellowship, and service to help forward the kingdom of Christ.

It is more than 50 years since the C.E.M.S. first began its work in Brisbane, and there must have been a branch in Indooroopilly about that time because there was, in the vestry of the old church, a certificate, relative to it. However, it seems to have faded out after a short life, but was revived in 1960 when the first admissions were made on Sunday, May 22 of that year.

The membership has never been large because each member must be a committed Christian (see rule of life).

Meetings were held once a month and began with Compline in the church followed by Bible study; then a business meeting is held in the hall followed usually by an address by a chosen speaker, afterwards followed by a social gathering. Now the meetings are less regular. At one time some members visited the Goodna Special Hospital once a month and periodically two members are still rostered for duty at the Seamen’s Mission at the Hamilton.

The society, although only small in numbers, helps in the smooth running of the parish by doing small jobs such as a monthly working bee to keep the grounds tidy, and for larger jobs one of which was the painting of the rectory at one stage. This was also done by a group of men before the Rector took up residence in June, 1959 and was one indirect cause of the re-formation of the society in 1960.

(3) Mother’s Union (M.U.)

This is a world-wide organisation with branches in the various parishes. It was started in St. Andrew’s in November, 1960 with membership open to any mother in the whole parish.

The work of the union is mainly to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the family; this is implemented by regular meetings, visits to other branches and to places like Symes Grove recently established in Zillmere from a legacy.

A prayer group has been formed and held each week at St. Andrew’s; this and special occasions, also strengthen the contribution of the union to the spiritual life of the church and parish.

(4) Young Wives’ Groups

This organisation was formed at St. Peter’s by Mrs. R. St. John in 1956. It is really the Young Members Department of the Mother’s Union, but as there was no Mother’s Union in the parish at the time it was formed, it was known as the Young Wives’ Group, but now by its correct name Y.M.D.

There are two groups, one at Kenmore, the other at St. Peters both with the same objectives, namely (a) the foregathering of the young married women of the parish centres for the purpose of getting to know other members of the same big family, (b) listening to talks and instructions on many matters relating to church and family, (c) visits to various institutions and places of interest, (d) joining with the Mother’s Union for special functions, (e) working for missions and (f) the keeping of a cradle roll.

It is interesting to note that on one occasion a visit to Community House, Albion, gave us the information that altar breads for the whole of Australia are made there.

In fact the two groups and the Mother’s Union are, together, doing a work for the church in a way peculiarly their own.

(5) St. Andrew’s Sanctuary Guild

This guild, once known as St. Catherine’s Guild has been in operation for only a few years, its duty is (a) to look after the altar linen and the sacred vessels used at the Eucharist or Holy Communion; also (b) to arrange the flowers which were placed on the altar of the old church but which are now placed in special boxes on either side of the main altar of the new brick church; (c) to look after the vases and candlesticks required in the side chapel and in the columbarium or Chapel of All Souls.

Further the members help in the decoration of the church for festivals.

These important functions are fulfilled in the daughter churches by the women of the Mother’s Union and the young members department thereof.

(6) Girl’s Friendly Society (G.F.S.)

A branch of this society was formed in St. Andrew’s in 1915 and worked for and gave some of the smaller furnishings of the church. A beautiful G.F.S. banner was worked by Miss Eva Dopson and her three sisters, the central painting being done by Mr. William Bustard. It used to be seen with the Sunday School banner and another worked by Miss Edith Wetherell (for many years organist of the church) in the chancel of the old building.

Unfortunately the G.F.S. was disbanded during the Second World War, but was re-established in 1960 with increased membership and enthusiasm. Later information to hand is that the G.F.S. was started in 1959 at St. Peters by Mrs. Miller.

There are now two branches at St. Peters — an intermediate and junior group both working in many ways to help the mission work of the church and to obey the object of the society, namely to unite girls and women in a fellowship of prayer, service and purity of life for the glory of God.

(7) Young Anglican Fellowship (Y.A.F.)

This fellowship was established in 1959 by Miss Dorothea McLennan and Mr. A. J. Dickenson for those in the age group 15 to 25.

It helps to bridge the period between Sunday School and full adult membership of the church. It is a flourishing group entirely self-governing meeting on a Sunday at 5 p.m. for tea and invariably some talk by a chosen speaker, after which attendance at Evensong helps to brighten that service.

Meetings are social, educational and spiritual and at other times help is given in a practical way by doing jobs around the church building and ground both at St. Andrew’s and other parish centres. Extra efforts have included visits to old peoples’ homes and various diocesan activities.

Already two members have been accepted for the priesthood — Keith Colbert, ordained in 1964 and Robert Cooper ordained in 1966. A leader is chosen periodically: today Mr. Bruce Macfarlane occupies that position.

(8) Church of England Boy’s Society (C.E.B.S.)

This society was formed at St. Andrew’s early in 1961 for boys of the parish in the age group 8 to 15.

Their work embraces in a smaller way, that of the Y.A.F. but, of course is under the control of adults whereas the Y.A.F. is self-controlled.

At times the boys have helped in tidying up the grounds. They also have sports such as swimming and football in the day time and table tennis at night. The first admission service was held on the 17th of May, 1961.

Some years ago an attempt was made by Mr. Fred Whitchurch to establish a boy’s club, but it did not last long enough to be of any real value and the equipment for gymnastics was sold.

At present the C.E.B.S. meets at Kenmore under the leadership of Mr. Norman Oakden for the juniors and Mr. Norman Walker for seniors. He also has a group of senior boys at St. Andrew’s.

(9) Companionship Groups

This group was formed by Miss Gretel Langford in 1958 when her mother was superintendent of the Sunday School at St. Peter’s. It was intended to help boys and girls of the 12 to 15 age group to understand and participate later in the full life of the church, and like the C.E.B.S. is a bridge between Sunday School and the Y.A.F. and the senior G.F.S.

Miss Langford led the group for 2 or 3 years and in 1960 handed over the leader-) ship to Mr. Hugh Olive who was in charge for 3 years. During that time Mrs. Gow assisted him and in 1963 he handed over the leadership to Mr. & Mrs. Jim Gow who brought the group to St. Andrew’s where it is still flourishing.

Last October. Mr. Ian Hurwood formed a new group at St. Peter’s.

Besides studying for the Bishop Webber Scripture examinations, the St. Andrew’s group presented a delightful pageant at Evensong in 1966 and this year sent about 40 young people to the Y.A.F. thus proving the worth of their work.

(10) Sunday Schools

And now for the important training of the young in matters spiritual.

There are today five Sunday Schools in our parish — one at each centre with a total enrolment of more than 500 children, including the kindergartens; and there are more than 30 teachers engaged in the work. It is interesting to record that the original Church of St. Andrew was built for a Sunday School, and at that time (1889) there were 72 scholars and 6 teachers, including the first rector and his wife.

During the following years many people, mostly women, gave invaluable services as teachers, and several men acted as superintendents. They were Messrs. Tom Payne, in memory of whom the Bible of the old church was given. R. C. Newman, Eric Hughes, W. H. Carr Junior, Charles James, A. S. Jull and Gordon Guy. The last two named are now priests of the Church of God, the former at Redcliffe and the latter at Mackay. Today Miss Connie Rouse is the active and enthusiastic superintendent at St. Andrew’s Mr. R. W. Willis at St. Peter’s, Mrs. D. R. Bilston at Kenmore, Miss Jeanette Jones at Brookfield and Mrs. Cottrell at Moggill.

During the year 1964 the Reverend Graham Ross looked after the Kenmore Sunday School during his year with us as curate, and Dr. J. Hawker also took charge there until his departure for Adelaide in 1966.

Mrs. Don Mecham had a Sunday School in her home at Fig Tree Pocket for two or three years until she was obliged to give it up because of ill health; and for the 18 months that Jindalee was under our care Miss Lightfoot and Mrs. H. G. Irons were superintendents.

Jindalee is now attached to Sherwood.

St. Andrew’s Sunday School was first held in the then newly erected wooden church in 1889; after that it was held in the Stamford hall for a little while until the parish hall in Riverview Terrace was built. There it remained until the hall was sold in 1948 and the church hut was in use.

Now it is held in the old wooden church and the hut which are connected and situated in the land purchased from Mr. D. M. T. Forster in 1961.

The children at Fig Tree Pocket used to come to the family eucharist at St. Andrew’s on the third Sunday of the month.

For the last few years all Sunday Schools have joined in the annual family gathering at Bundaleer and at Christmas time have filled an empty Christmas tree with gifts for the less fortunate.

This, besides learning of their faith and realising the need for missions, is helping the children to prepare for their future adult church life.

It is interesting to note that St. Peter’s Sunday School was the first in Queensland to have an empty Christmas tree for children to place there on gifts for the less fortunate.

(11) Altar Servers

This organisation is a band of boys and young men whose duty is to assist the priest at celebrations of Holy Communion or the Choral Eucharist.

Some members belong to the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary.

The present strength is about thirty and embraces servers from all the churches of the parish who form a body of devoted youth many years old but only within the last few years one of the organisations of the parish.

There have been several head servers in the past since 1960, three have acted with conspicuous success. They are Bill Watkins, now in Sydney, John France-Hall of Kenmore and Brookfield and Ian Colbert. Today, Mr. Ian Hurwood is in charge. Two servers of the past have recently been ordained priests: they are the Reverends Keith Colbert and Robert Cooper.

(12) Choir, Organists and Organs

Years ago, St. Andrew’s had a choir under the direction of Mr. R. L. Jackson, head teacher of the Indooroopilly State School.

This choir was well known for its good work and has not been equalled, although at one time about 1940 some good work was done under the direction of Mr. Percy Brier, especially one Palm Sunday night when Maunder’s Cantata “Olivet to Calvary” was sung: in place of the sermon, with Mrs. Harold Pilkington (nee Constance Buchan) taking the chief solos. Many other cantatas have been sung as well as the normal services of the church.

Unfortunately the choir gradually dwindled in size until it faded out. But the names of three members call for special mention as each gave a splendid service of twenty-five (25) years.

They are Mrs. H. S. Mapleston, who had an unusual contralto voice. Messrs. C. F. Brimson, who was also secretary of the parochial council and a one time warden, and Charles Beswick one time choir master.

More than one attempt has been made to form another choir but without success until in July, 1960 the present parish choir came into being under the direction of Mr. Niel O’Flynn, until he was transferred to Townsville in 1963.

In its short life, with all too few members, it has established itself well and turned our services into glorious acts of worship.

Besides singing the various services of the church, (canticles, psalms and settings of Holy Communion (or the English mass) the choir has given concerts, and being the parish choir has journeyed to St. Peter’s, Kenmore and Brookfield to enrich the Patronal Festival or Feasts of Title.

It is now affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music under the direction of Mr. Len Berwick.

Organists of St. Andrew’s
Stanley Hobson1890-1894
Page Gray1894-1900
Mrs. Hadgraft1900-1915
Edith Wetherell1915-1935
Allen Moore                }{ between
Harold St. George       }{ 1935 &
Claude Clerk               }{ 1945
May Shire1945-1956
Dorothea McLellan1958-1960
Frances Low Choy1960-1962
Mrs. Napier1962-1965
Mrs. Ron Tolmie1965-

The first organist of the church was Mr. Stanley Hobson, later organist of St. Luke’s Toowoomba. He was appointed in 1890 and was followed by Mr. W. Page-Gray in 1894 until 1900. Then Mrs. E. W. Hadgraft took charge for fifteen years, during which period the choir reached its high pitch of excellence.

Then followed Miss Edith Wetherell for twenty years. She was followed by Mr. Allen Moore and then Mr. Harold St. George played until Mr. Claude Clerk was appointed with Mr. Charles Beswick as choir master.

In 1945, Miss May Shire began a period of eleven years 1945-1956 of consistent and faithful work until failing health compelled her to resign.

For a while Mrs. St. George and others filed the breach until in 1958 Miss Dorothea McLennan came. She gathered together a few girls for the morning services and a few boys for the evening and on occasions both choirs combined — especially for a carol service. In 1960, Miss McLennan resigned to go to England and Miss Low Choy took her place until she also resigned and followed Miss McLennan to England at the end of 1962.

Mrs. Napier was then appointed, and she, like all her predecessors played on the old organs often referred to as American organs, but really reed (or cabinet) organs.

Mrs. Napier was not happy with the big Wurlitzer organ purchased in 1963 and as the dedication of the new church drew near she asked to be relieved of the position of organist of St. Andrew’s but remained as organist of St. Peter’s.

This was made possible by the offer of Mrs. Ron Tolmie to help in the music of the church and after a period of fifteen months training by Mr. Percy Brier, she was appointed official organist of St. Andrew’s as from the dedication on September, 1965.

She is assisted by Mr. Bruce Macfarlane. He was also trained by Mr. Percy Brier, who occasionally assists.

When there is no organist available the congregation sings alone and sings very well: altogether with a new organ, an enthusiastic choir, and improved congregational singing the services are beginning to reveal the power of music in the worship of almighty God.

A few words about the organs used in our churches is not inappropriate here. They are with one exception the cabinet or reed organs built originally in America. St. Andrew’s had one — a Palace organ — for seventy (70) years; it was replaced for a while by a smaller instrument of the same type pending the erection of the new church. Both organs are now in the Sunday School. It may interest some parishioners to know that the Palace organ originally had a row of dummy pipes above the console and that it used to be next to the lectern on the epistle side of the church.

In 1963, an opportunity to purchase a two manual and pedal reed organ by Wurlitzer of New York was afforded us and after due consideration and on the advice of a competent person was duly secured and placed in the old church.

Although it lacks some of the devices found and expected in pipe organs it has an exceptionally good tone and a reasonable variety of tone colours. Moreover it has sufficient power to be heard when and where necessary for it is amplified and blown electrically and has certain electronic devices. It has thirty (30) stops and when it has been thoroughly overhauled, and perhaps added to, and freed from any mechanical troubles (and one organ builder considers it can be put into first-class order) it will be eminently suitable for church purposes and for recitals. Last year (1967) the present organist, Mrs. Ron Tolmie, gave an interesting recital preceded by an informative talk on the instrument and organs in general by Mr. Percy Brier.

Two other groups, although not organisations must be mentioned; they are the Lay readers, and the Order of St. Luke which has this year given place to the Guild of Saint Raphael.

In the 1939 Brochure five lay readers are listed namely Messrs. Percy Brier, T. C. Brooks, Gordon Guy, Lyn Roberts and Jack Swan.

The last three are now priests, Mr. Brooks died many years ago, and Mr. Brier has recently been obliged to retire. More recently Messrs. Alan Case and Bill Watkins were licensed and last year (1967) Mr. A. J. Dickenson received his licence. Further both Mr. Alan Case and Mr. A. J. Dickenson have been granted the privilege of assisting at the service of Holy Communion by administering the chalice.

A Chapter of the Order of St. Luke the Physician was established in 1962; and as a result a weekly healing and intercession service has been held at St. Andrew’s. For a while there was a monthly meeting at St. Lucia, but now, as the Brisbane chapter has fulfilled its original intention of bringing the Healing Ministry into the church this has been disbanded and the chapter split into two or three different chapters.

In its place the Rector, the Reverend M. A. Paxton-Hall, formed a branch of the All Anglican Guild of St. Raphael which continues the weekly intercession of healing services with occasionally the ministry of the sacrament of Holy Unction.

There is a membership of sixteen who were admitted on Sunday, October 29, 1967.

For the full table of contents and a PDF of the booklet, which includes photos, see the Parish History 1888–1968. Alternatively, go to the Conclusion.