This article dated 17 January 1912 (Northern Star) describes the opening of the Dunoon Presbyterian Church. The centenary of the church is now already a few years ago. We welcome the new owners of the building and their enthusiasm for its history.
– Ian Murray
On Wednesday last, January 10th, the new Presbyterian Church at Dunoon was opened by the Rev. M. Henry, BA. The opening ceremony took place at 11:30, by which time a large number of people had gathered.
The following ministers, wearing gowns and hoods appropriate to their respective universities and degrees, took their stand at the church door, viz., the Revs; R. Miller, B.A., of Bangalow, M. Henry, B.A., of Gulargambone, and Foster H. Bardwell, M.A., of Clunes.
Mrs. Ross, President of ‘the Ladies’ Guild,’ on behalf of the congregation, presented the Rev. M. Henry with a silver key suitably inscribed. The rev. gentleman having expressed his thanks, declared the church open for the worship and praise of God and for the proclamation of His Word. He then led the way into the church which was speedily filled to overflowing.
The service commenced by the singing of the 100th Psalm. (Scots Version). The Rev. R. McPhee read as a lesson the Sixth Psalm.
The Rev. M. Henry then offered the dedicatory prayer, and after the singing of the hymn “Thou Whose Unmeasured Temple Stands” he pronounced the Benediction.
Other clergy present were the Rev. F. L. Hackett, Vicar of Dunoon and the Rev. W. D. McIlwraith, B.A., of Sydney. Mr. Calsely ably officiated at the organ at both services. After the morning service lunch was provided in the Dunoon Public Hall.
The afternoon service commenced at 1.30, when, with the Rev. W. D. McIlwraith reading the lesson 1st Kings, chapter 8, the same minister officiated. The sermon was delivered by the Rev. M. Henry, who took as his text: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House of God” (Psalm 122: 1), The Roy. F. H. Bardwell intimated that in future, services would be held at Dunoon on the 1st and 2nd and 5th Sundays of the month at 11, and on the 3rd and 4th Sundays at 7.30.
At 8 o’clock a social was held in the hall, which was well filled. The musical programme arranged by Miss K. Munro was as follows: Overture, Miss Windsor; songs, Mrs. T. Johnson, Misses McLean and Munro, and Messrs. Franklin, Risk, and Raward; recitations, Mr. Caldwell. Mr. Franklin’s humorous sketches called forth tumultuous applause.
Apologies for absence were received from the Rev. G. Johnson, of Dunoon, J. Walker, of Alstonville, and A. M. Gauld of Lismore.
Addresses were delivered by the Rev. M. Henry, R. Miller, W. McIlwraith, and Foster H. Bardwell, who presided. A comprehensive vote of thanks was moved by Mr. Munro, seconded by Mr. MacDonald and heartily accorded. The presence of the Rev. M. Henry drew many from all parts of the district. He was for four years minister of the Clunes charge, and under his care it became for the first time self-supporting. At the time of his coming its condition was not hopeful. It was a cause of very great regret when he left to take up mission work at Bourke. He is now minister at Gulargambone, and has come to this district on a holiday. Another former minister of Clunes, when it was part of the Lismore charge, has recently visited the district, viz., the Rev. J. Craigie, well known here about fifteen years ago. He has been for some years in New Zealand, and is now for a while in Brisbane.
The new church
The new church stands upon an excellent site in the township of Dunoon which has been purchased from Mr. W. Munro. It has been built and furnished at the cost of £635, and the price of the site was £100. An Estey organ has been provided by Messrs. Paling and Co. at the cost of £35 18s. The total outlay is therefore £770 18s, of which £161 9s has been raised by subscriptions, fairs, etc., so that the debt amounts to £319 9s. Toward defraying this there is £50 of promised subscriptions to come in. The church will hold about 150 persons. It is of a most pleasing and handsome appearance, and is a credit to the architect Mr. A. Jolly, while the quality of the workmanship speaks well for the contractors, Messrs. Gaggin and Co.
This article appeared in the Dunoon and District Gazette, February – March 2021.