A Church and its people
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We believe that early services were held in either held in private homes or the School. We have no minute books of those early years, just a Preacher’s Book commencing in 1836. Many of our records were either destroyed by fire or lost over the years.
Charles Bott and Thomas Pigdon were Boomahnoomoonah’s representatives on the Board of the Yarrawonga Parish Guardians and in the early days it appears Boomahnoomoonah was able to contribute more than their share of the stipend. There are a couple of references to that fact in the early years. Average attendances in those early times were thirty with communion held quarterly.
The concerts held at Wilby must have been quite a social event according to a report in the Moira Independent Newspaper. One such concert raised 13 pound in aid of the St. Oswald’s building fund.
In 1910 finance could not have been quite as good as previously. Mr T. Lewis stated members should not resort to concerts or anything of that nature to make good the clergy stipend and he gave 2 pound towards the deficiency. Parishioners gave a total of 5.10.00 (pounds /shillings /pence).
In 1914 a request was received from Yarrawonga to increase the stipend to 50.
In 1916 on the 21st May, a Memorial Service was held for Corporal A. Smith and on the 10th September six people were confirmed, but we have no record of who!
1918 – There was a motion that chaff and firewood be provided for our clergyman, this still applies. Boomahnoomoonah still supplies wood to the Rectory – nowadays only in the winter. A story that comes to mind as more recent times is a working bee that was held to top the trees around the Church, so they would be nicely grown back again for the centenary celebrations. The wood was cut into blocks and neatly stacked in the corner of the Church yard to dry out ready for the next winter, but the wood started to slowly disappear. Somebody was helping themselves and it is not the Rector.
In 1921, a vote of thanks was recorded to Mr Charles Bott for his nineteen years as Treasurer.
1922 must have been a bad year. The Vestry was asking members to pay their annual subscription during the first quarter.
Mr G. Pigdon tendered his resignation due to his leaving the district, members wished Mr and Mrs Pigdon well in their new home.
In 1927 Mr G. Morris, Mr P. Spriggs and Mr E. Martin were appointed to look after the interests at Boomahnoomoonah in respect of the new Rectory in Yarrawonga.
1929, 25th August, the altar cross was dedicated. I have found no reference to indicate if it was donated or purchased.
The years 1929 – 1930- must have been wet years as there are several notes in the Preacher’s Book. No service. No-one came, roads flooded or Wilby Creek impassable.
Entertainment were held in Pilkington’s Barn. Mr Tom Pilkington Jnr has said that the family continued the tradition from Mr Joe Stewart, the previous owner. He said many district functions were held in the large barn. Entertainment in the form of sing-a-longs and dances were held with music being provided by Mr Jack Ferguson on his tin whistle, often accompanied by Mr Jack Elliot on the fiddle. Dances often combined with Euchre parties.
In 1931, I have noted that proceeds from the entertainment in Pilkington’s Barn on one occasion was 16.02.00
1933 – Six people were confirmed we have no official record of who!
A Bank Note offering became the way to make up the deficit when Church finances became a problem.
In 1940, a Jubilee Service was held on the 16th June. As there is no Preacher’s book for this period, we do not know how many people attended. Some older members remember Miss Lorna Lean played the organ and her sister was the soloist. 1941. It is reported in the annual meeting minutes that Mr. Chesterfield congratulated St. Oswald’s on coming through the year with a credit balance and also a very successful jubilee celebration.
1947 An afternoon tea was tendered to Mr. Spriggs prior to his leaving the district. Mr. Spriggs was church treasurer for twenty-six years. Mr. Brooks was elected as treasurer in his place.
1950 a diamond jubilee celebration was held. Lighting was borrowed from the congregational church at Wilby. There was a motion on the books that the Secretary write a thank you note to them for the use of lights. Rev. C. Coish arrived during the year.
1951 M. G. Brooks resigned as Church Treasurer, having sold his property. Mr. D. Carter was elected in his place. Finances were again a problem and it was moved that in order to clear the deficit for the year, Vestry suggested each family subscribe 2 pounds.
1955 finances were still a problem and it was suggested that each family donate 10 pounds a year and the collection plate be retained in the Service.
1956 Fred Bond was elected Secretary in place of Mr. R.A. Morris 1958, October 12th was the last Service with Reverend C. Coish.
1959, January 18th was the first Service for Stan Goldsworthy.
1960, the first mention of a Ladies Guild in the Annual Reports.
1962, 15th March, Requiem Mass – Edith Jeffcott, aged ninety-one years.
1965, 4th April Requiem Mass, Robert Morris.
1966 It was moved that St. Oswald’s donate 225 pounds or thereabouts to buy a piece of furniture for the new Parish Church in Yarrawonga.
26th February Mass with the intention to marry Geoffrey William Willett and Bronwyn Lyla Hargreaves.
1967, 12 March. It was moved that St. Oswald’s support plated giving to the extent of 500 pounds and that the Ladies Guild be asked to meet the 12.5% increase.
1969 Mrs. Jeffcott, Guild president, announced that guild members were arranging an Old Time Ball to be held in the Wilby Hall on the 6th June. Dennis Carter resigns as Treasurer after nineteen years and Fred Bond was elected in his place.
26th October, Mass at Wilby Sports Ground and Parish Picnic. The altar was built of hay bales set up under the big red gum trees.
1970, 4th October, 80th Dedication Festival with more that eighty people present.
1972 Father Goldsworthy departed for Shepparton and Father J. Thomson became our Parish Priest.
1975, 28th April. No mass, roads flooded. In the early years this was a regular event, but in more recent years, it is very unusual.
9th March – a farewell presentation to Mrs L. Hargreaves, wishing her well in her retirement in Yarrawonga. Mrs Hargreaves played the organ for many years.
1978, 29th April, we had a visit from the Bishop and he announced the resignation of Father J. Thompson.
22nd April, New Australian Prayer books used for the first time.
23rd July, no service on account of storm and roads flooded.
1978 – 27th August Mass followed by a barbecue in the Church grounds and erection of new sign. This sign was vandalised by someone shooting neatly through all the o’s in Boomahnoomoonah and so it was replaced with the one that is there now. Father Geoff Terry welcomed in 1978.
1980, April 10th a Vestry meeting was held to elect Fred Bond as Secretary and Bill Willett as Treasurer.
1981 – Dot Carter was elected Secretary.
1984 – for the first time a family barbecue was held prior to our Annual meeting at the home of Robert and Faye Glover. This has become an annual event with different members hosting the barbecue and Annual Meeting each year. It is always an enjoyable evening of Anglican fellowship. Dot Carter resigns as Secretary as she is to retire to Yarrawonga and Faye Glover was elected in her place.
1985 – Yarrawonga Parish entered into a joint ministry with Mulwala. Father Alan Backhouse and family of Mulwala were welcomed to Boomahnoomoonah.
A picnic day to be held on 10th August to honour St. Oswald’s.
Seventy – five people present for A Christmas Eve Service.
1986 – A soup and and sandwich luncheon was held at the home of Don and Beryl Hargreaves after Mass to celebrate St. Oswald’s Day.
1987 – November 20th, we farewelled Father Terry.
1988 – A Committee was formed to organise Centenary Celebrations. We welcomed Father Graham Reynolds and family to Boomahnoomoonah.
1989 – St. Oswald’s Day Celebrations. We journeyed out to the Killawarra Forest for a barbecue luncheon, following Mass at which Allison and Scott Glover were admitted to Holy Communion.
We have continued to plan for our Centenary Celebrations. Ladies Guild have put together a Recipe Book and the Centenary Committee have been having souvenir windcheaters and t-shirts printed.
Tenders, returnable up to Monday, 14th November at Wilby, for lining St. Oswald’s Church, Boomahnoomoonah. Labor Only. George Hall, Secretary