Scots Church Fellowship

With Margaret Morey as Facilitator, there was a small but loyal group of members present for our meeting on September 3rd. At our monthly gathering we sit around tables (arranged in a square) and chat over lunch. We were pleased that the Fellowship Co-Coordinator for our area, Val Hutchinson, was with us, and it is always a pleasure to have her come along. 

For Devotions Margaret read from “More of the Aussie Bible” a short passage from The Gospel of John, followed by a prayer from William Barclay (published in “Food for the Journey”). She then introduced Mrs Rosemary Sarre. Rosemary’s husband, Mr Donald Sarre is a Lay Minister and recently was appointed as Interim Minister in Norfolk Island for several months. We were surprised to learn that the island is not large – about the same size as Hindmarsh Island. The island is an external Australian Territory and one of Australia’s oldest territories, settled only six weeks after Australia’s founding settlement in Sydney. 

It has an interesting history, and was first settled in the 14th or 15th century, but the fate of those early settlers remains a mystery. Captain Cook was the first European to have sighted the island in 1774 and it was uninhabited. He was impressed with the giant pines and flax growing there – the timber could be used for ship-building. In 1788 Governor Arthur Phillips ordered a party of fifteen convicts and seven free men to take control of the island as a penal settlement, but this was not successful because of the small size of the island and its hilly nature. In 1824 the British Government decided because of its remoteness it would be an ideal site for the detention of convicts who had re-offended. In 1847 the penal settlement was abandoned because transportation to Van Diemen’s Land had ceased. In June 1856 descendants of Tahitians and the HMS Bounty mutineers resettled there from the Pitcairn Islands which could not support them. Rosemary said there are many descendants from The Bounty, with many surnames being the same, leading to interesting nick-names in the telephone book! 

The population now is 1500. Food is expensive as most has to come from New Zealand or Sydney. The scenery is beautiful. Rosemary and Donald enjoyed their time with the Uniting Church. Many of its members are elderly – the young people have formed a Community Church. We were delighted to have Rosemary with us, and learned a lot about Norfolk Island. 

Our next meeting is on Thursday 1st October. Mary Thomas is Facilitator and Ruth Goldsworthy and Kath March offered to attend to Kitchen Duties. Why don't you join us? BYO lunch at 12 noon, and after a time of sharing together we will hear about the work of the Uniting Church Stamp Group - a small group who work each Monday morning sorting stamps. They have buyers who buy the stamps by bulk, enabling the group to donate funds to the Mission of the UC, usually between $2000 and $3000 annually. The suggestion to hear about this group came from Alleyne Womersley who recently contacted the Convener offering her collection of Stamp Albums, and they were gratefully accepted - Alleyne read us their letter of thanks and appreciation.  Mary Thomas

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