• Weekly Reflections W07 T2 2018

    14 June, 2018

    The Story of Joy

    On the morning of Wednesday 13th, we had a Baptism at our Junior and Infants Chapel. It is the first I can remember to be held in the presence of our Junior students. Baptism is the initiation into the Christian Faith. It is commanded by Christ at the end of Matthew’s Gospel to 'Go into all the world, preach the Gospel, Baptise in the name of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit and teach…' In the mainline churches, we practise Infant Baptism which means that the whole family commit or re-commit to following Christ’s way. Then in later years the child - now much older - learns about following Christ and confirms the promises which were made at their baptism. It was a joy to have the full Chapel take part.

    The baby was Alex, the fourth child of Chris and Sally Dunstall. His sisters Laura and Caitlin and his brother Nicholas also played leading roles, aided by their friends. 

    My thanks to Sally for her seed thought idea and for the teachers who supported this venture with enthusiasm. 

    One of the Godparents, Nicola nee Press who was with Sally at All Saints' found one of the pew cushions which her father Trevor had embroidered. Trevor Press was a long-serving maths teacher at All Saints’.

    How wonderful for us all to be part of this celebration!

    A Story of Redemption
    This will be on display at the Festival of Art this weekend. Men from Bathurst and other western districts enlisted early in 1942 to fight the forces to our north. They trained at Camps on the Limekilns Road. Then proudly marched through the city, were transported to Sydney and then Singapore. Devastatingly Singapore fell to the Japanese only weeks later, in February 1942 and the Eighth Division personnel were taken as Prisoners of War. Many died in the terrible conditions. Relief did not come till August 15th, 1945, which is recognised as Victory in the Pacific Day. Because of the number of POW men from Bathurst, it was decided to make a memorial for them. It was designed by a Canberra artist, Ruth Hingston-Knight and was placed in the Bell Tower of St Barnabas church, South Bathurst in 1997. Each August 15th a Memorial commemoration was held at the church. I was Parish Priest of South Bathurst from 1992 to 2003 before coming across to be Chaplain to All Saints’ College. In the early hours of February 23, 2013, the church was set ablaze.

    The POW window was the only leadlight window to survive the fire and afterwards, the blackened window was stored in the Parish Hall.

    The charred POW window

    There were signs that the solder was just melting and the reason that it escaped the ferocity of the blaze was that the door from the church to the tower narthex was closed, thus inhibiting the flow of fire into and up the tower.

    Walking the ruins with the Parish Priest, James Hodson. Behind him is the empty space where the POW window stood.

    I then took the window, dismantled it, washed each piece and as I had the plans from which I made it in 1977, re-built it.


    The window lay in storage until the thought of placing it in the Cathedral Bell Tower surfaced. So the gothic shape has been formed into a rectangle and the window will overlook the Memorial garden just outside the Bell Tower.

    Working with you, Father Paul.

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