Marjorie Burton Part 5

Marjorie Burton Part 5

At an informal meeting with the country clergy at Mr Henn’s residence after the morning service, at which the Misses Holmes, George and Milne Robertson were present, it was suggested that a memorial to Miss Burton be put in hand at once, with a committee being formed from delegates from the Caravan Committee and some of the clergy.
 
Three ideas were put forward :
  1.    A new caravan to be named ‘The Marjorie Burton Caravan’.
  2.    Some permanent memorial to be placed in the cathedral.
  3.    A sum of money as an endowment – the interest to be spent on books or teaching equipment for a needy
       country Sunday School.
With Archdeacon Storrs as Chairman and a strong committee supporting him, the Appeal was soon successfully launched. All the aims were eventually fulfilled. The mission van, which had travelled well over 30,000 miles through the outback of Western Australia for 17 years, was offered to the Archbishop, but as he had no-one in view to continue the caravan work he suggested that the Society sell it. This was done and the money added to the donations received from the Memorial Appeal. It was planned that a Diocesan caravan would be built when the Archbishop felt the time was right and it would be called ‘The Marjorie Burton Memorial Mission Van’. It was to be 10 years before it would be ‘on the road’.  However, the other aims of the Appeal were realised. A painting of ‘The Three Wise Men’ was originally hung as a reredos behind the altar in St Saviour’s Chapel in St George’s Cathedral, but this was later moved and was hanging on the first column to the left of the west door. 
 
The small plaque beneath it is in scribed:

‘The Adoration of Christ by the Wise Men; by Arthur Murch of Sydney, is in memory of Miss Burton, who travelling in the Girls’ Friendly Society Caravan gave devoted service to the Church in this Diocese from 1934 until her death Easter Day 25th April, 1943.

This was dedicated by the Archbishop on Sunday 25 March 1949. The altar rail at the Church of the Epiphany at Mundaring is also in memory of Miss Burton.

The balance of the money was invested by GFS until the Archbishop was ready to have the Diocesan caravan built. In 1953 he advised the Society that he was accepting an offer of a lady in England to be a missioner in WA and asked for the money that was being held towards the building of a new van. On 14 September 1953 Archbishop Moline received Mrs R. H. Moore, who was GFS President when Miss Burton died; Miss A. E. Holmes, Caravan Chairman, Miss E. George, Caravan Treasurer, and Miss Milne Robertson, the last Secretary. The sum of £739.14.9 was presented to the Archbishop. The final report from the Caravan Committee was given to the GFS Council on 4 November 1953. 
 
The Committee then disbanded and the Society’s President and members expressed much appreciation of the many years of work done by this committee. It was 27 years between the first and last meetings – years of achievement under tremendous difficulties at times, but always with a great joy in the service they were giving.

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Caravan Part 9

FINANCING THE RUNNING OF THE VAN

Apart from fundraising functions by members of the Caravan Committee, the G FS branches also supported it with money they had collected in many ways. Some were unusual… in the 1927 Annual Report, under the Busselton Candidates’ section, mention is made that “Mrs Kerr took the elder girls out into the country to gather violets, which they sold to help the Caravan Fund.”

The members made baby clothes and knitted bootees and other items as gifts to be taken to the settlers, as well as collecting books, magazines and clothing. The children gave many of their own toys and the van workers often wrote, in a very personal way, how there was always the right gift available when needed. “A toy shop found its way into the hands of a wee girl suffering from spinal trouble  –  a lovely dolly to a dear little motherless girl – and yet another doll to a child just home from hospital from an operation.” When visiting one family they found the baby had cold feet… “so Miss Benthall gave it the blue bootees”.

In recognition of the outstanding work being done throughout the State by the caravan workers, the Archbishop-in-Council gave an annual grant from 1932.  There was continuing financial and other support from GFS members, their friends, and admirers of the work of the caravaners.  The Mothers’ Union also gave donations from time to time in appreciation of the support being given to their members in isolated places. The cost of petrol and repairs to the van as it travelled through such rough conditions was extremely high. On the very first trip the caravan made, one of the clergy suggested that a box be placed in the van for donations towards the petrol, and although people were never asked for contributions, the coins dropped in the box proved a great help in keeping the petrol tank full.  It was also on the first trip that Armadale GFS branch and the Ladies’ Guild in the parish gave a box of small gifts that could be sold and others did the same. This was always called the ‘Petrol Box’.

The offerings in the Sunday School Festivals at St George’s Cathedral were often given towards the upkeep of the van and when convenient it was parked outside the Cathedral so that the children could go through it.
 

 


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Marjorie Burton Part 4

On 16 March 1943 a service was held in St George’s Cathedral before Marjorie Burton left on what was to be her last tour with the GFS caravan. She was accompanied on the first two weeks of the trip by Miss C. Hawtrey, who gave valuable assistance with the teaching during that period.  When it was time for her to return to Perth Miss Burton continued with the tour on her own, travelling in the large parish of Bencubbin, which was without a Rector. She endeavoured to provide as many services as she could in the outlying centres and took five services on Good Friday at different towns, the last being at Nukami, where she collapsed with a heart attack at a private home and was taken to Merredin hospital where she died early on Easter Day (25 April) 1943. The Reverend G. Johnson, the Rector of Merredin, who knew Miss Burton well, ministered to her the night before she died.

Her sudden death was a terrible shock to her many friends throughout the State , as it was not known  until  later  that she had  been  warned  by  a doctor the week  before  that she should  not continue  the tour because  of the condition of her heart.

The Reverend W E. Henn, the Reverend A.W Curtis and the Reverend G. Johnson assisted in very many ways with all the arrangements for the funeral. The Reverend G. Stanley and the Reverend L. Bothamley brought the van to Perth. On 27 April a Requiem was held in St Andrew’s, East Claremont, which was her parish church and where she had many friends, including the Rector (the Reverend W E. Henn) and his wife. Archbishop Le Fanu spoke at the service of the loss Miss Burton’s death meant to the church and the people in the country districts. He expressed the feelings of all when he said:

“We mourn the loss of one who gave nine years’ voluntary service with the van and who endeared herself to so many.  She gave of her best to the Master whom she served so faithfully, and we believe she died as she would have wished – on active service for Him.”

There was a large attendance of clergy and friends at this service and also at the graveside in the afternoon at Karrakatta Cemetery.  About fifteen of the country clergy were present.

Her grave was later to be marked by a special type of cross, which her sisters in England arranged to be made here to their design, and a crucifix sent out from England was affixed to the cross which bears the words:

Miss Marjorie Alice Burton
Died – Easter Day. April 25th 1943
Jesu Mercy
 
   

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Happy Easter – He is Risen!

Easter Sunday or Easter Day is the most important day of the year for Christians.
 
It is when they celebrate that three days after being killed, Jesus rose from the dead, sometimes called ‘the Resurrection’ and defeated evil forever.
 
https://www.whyeaster.com/customs/eastersunday.shtml

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Good Friday

Good Friday is a very important day for all Christians. On Good Friday, Christians remember that Jesus died for everyone. He was crucified by the Romans on a hill outside Jerusalem although he had not done anything wrong.

Read on further here https://buff.ly/2IUSaDk


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Headquarters Part 7

The vision and courage of those involved with the administration of GFS is shown by the way they took on the repayment of five thousand pounds on the GFS Headquarters because they believed the building was an essential part of the caring mission and outreach of GFS. It was to be just on 30 years before the building was finally free of debt in 1956 and this was only possible through the rent from the two shops on the ground floor, continuous fund raising by GFS members and regular financial support from the GFS Lodge Committee.

The fundraising took many forms. There were musical productions at His Majesty’s Theatre and the Perth Town Hall, with hundreds of people in the cast, GFS balls, river trips, fetes and many other functions held for the same purpose. In addition the GFS Associates’ Committee held monthly bridge parties at Headquarters towards the debt reduction.

The Depression years were very difficult ones, as shop rents had to be reduced, and for many years it was only possible to pay the interest on the loan. As time went on, there were heavy expenses for maintenance to the building, including repairs to the roof, replacement of wiring and pipes and painting. This was in addition to ‘day to day’ running costs.

In spite of the careful managing of funds that was needed, these years were also ones of great outreach for the Society, with large numbers of branches and over 1600 members in Perth Diocese alone. A great deal of social work was done in the community at that time and the proceeds from some of the musical productions were given to charity rather than being kept by the Society for debt reduction.

Although the clubs that operated from GFS Headquarters played an important part in the lives of countless people, there were many other ways in which the building was used. There were socials, wedding receptions, exhibitions, leader training, rallies for country members , Synod teas, orphans’ parties, craft classes, mission film nights and countless other activities. It was the centre for co-ordinating the work of the caravan for 17 years and also for welfare work by GFS during the Depression years. There was a committee formed at Headquarters to help those in need of clothes and many hundreds of garments were prepared and given to Deaconess Genders to distribute in her district or to the Diocesan Secretary to help those who came to the building for help. These included many unemployed girls who had heard of the GFS centre and appealed for assistance. Several hundred of these were found jobs during this time.

Others helped were invalid members of the Society, who did beautiful church needlework or made knitted, crocheted or hand-stitched garments which were displayed in a glass case at Headquarters and orders taken without any charge made for the service.

There were many others who used the Headquarters building apart from GFS. For many years during the 1940s the Mothers’ Union had a room there until they moved to Church Office in 1949. In 1968, when plans for rebuilding left them homeless, GFS welcomed them back to their Headquarters for several years and there was a very happy relationship always between the two organisations. CEBS and CEGS also had offices in the building for a number of years. GFS was keen to help in this way by providing economical accommodation for fellow church organisations. The building sometimes saw ‘welcomes’ to new Archbishops and other church dignitaries. (There were 85 GFS leaders present at a welcome to Archbishop Geoffrey Sambell.) There was usually a farewell function at Headquarters when the wife of the Governor, who was always the Patron of GFS, left the State.

The building was a nurturing place for some new organisations needing a large, central meeting room. Amongst these were the Rhythmic Girls League, Alcoholics Anonymous, an orchestra and sports clubs.

One of the rooms overlooking Hay Street was made into a beautiful little chapel and was used for that purpose for many years.

@lostperth @cityofperth
 
Gallery

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It’s Orange Day!

Today is “Orange Day” – in 2017 at the GFS World Council in Perth it was agreed we would mark each 25th day of the month to raise awareness.

1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner

Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care

Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM)

#OrangeUrWorld, #OrangeTheWorld, #HearMeToo, #EndVAW


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Monday Memories – Marjorie Burton Part 3

As planned, Miss Burton returned to WA in March 1937, accompanied this time by Miss Whalley who was to be driver/companion until November 1938, when she returned to England. Miss Burton obtained her driver’ s licence on 30 November and she felt it was particularly significant that it should be on St Andrew’s Day – “the first missionar y!” she noted beside the item in her diary.

Miss Burton found a special joy in driving the van and although she often had friends accompany her on her tours, she also liked to drive on her own. This concerned the Caravan Committee members, who stressed the importance of having someone with her in case of accidents or illness. However, she still did many trips on her own, although arrangements were made as often as possible for a companion to be with her.

Miss Burton kept a ‘ Daily Diary’, as did all the workers on the van. These are a treasure house of memories as they cover the 17 years of ministry to the people of the outback. They·are full of drama in many cases and the following is just one example taken from a report by Miss Burt on in July 1942:

“I left Wyalkatchem parish and crossed to Bencubbin…the roads were so wet and greasy that I was travelling with wheel chains on. On the way to Mukinbudin the next morning the van slid down four miles to the next school! When I left South Tammin I was accompanied by the owner of the farm several miles over paddocks, partly fallowed, to reach a better road than I could have found alone. My aim was to make Bellakubella and Doodenaning schools before they closed for the week. After passing the rabbit proof fence the road became a swampy track. For part of the way I had no notion where I was except that the direction was mainly right. The house which I went to for guidance proved to be empty, but a man cutting timber was able to tell me where to find another house. The track to this was so bad, with so many rivers and roads and washaways and much mud, that I hardly knew if even our sturdy caravan would make it, but so much praise had been poured on our engine on bad tracks recently, that it warmed her to fresh effort and we reached the house safely, and – more wonderful still – both schools were reached in time.”
 
 

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Monday Memories – Caravan Part 7

Welcome back to Monday Memories for 2020!  We look forward to sharing these with you during the year and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Caravan Part 7

There is a file in the GFS Office full of letters which bring alive the work of the GFS caravan – letters from clergy in vast parishes in the outback of Western Australia, who paid a tribute over and over again to the women who travelled in the van and helped them from time to time in their enormous task.

The following comments speak for themselves:

Coorow: 4.1.1932 (The Revd A.W. Curtis)

“We appreciated the visit of the caravan to the district in December and marvelled at the energies of Miss Pine and Mrs Broadhurst.”

Wongan Hills: 30.7.1932

“Miss Dawson and Miss Pine made a really great impression upon this parish and I would be most grate/ul if the y would care to come again any time that is convenient.”

Bruce Rock: Easter 1935 (The Revd F.W. Guest)

“No Rector can help but say that the caravan is a God-send up in these scattered districts. The Rector has to work to a tim table and is able to devote only a small proportion of his time to each district. When the caravan arrives it is possible to get every district thoroughly visited, the children connected up with the Sunday School by Post and classes in the day schools, as well as the people having the opportunity of many extra Services.

I speak for my people when I say no one could have performed the work more efficiently nor won the hearts of the people so easily than Miss Burton.

Also, we must remember the driver, Miss Murray.  She certainly is a friend indeed of the Bush Parson.”

Meckering: 15.6.1935 (The Revd E.S. Bartlett)

“Before I came to WA I had heard of the wonderful work done by the caravan Missioners in Canada, so when I heard that there was a similar Mission touring the Diocese, I was eager to  come in contact with them.”

Wyalkatchem- Koorda parish:  27.5.1938  (The Revd L. Bothamley)

“The Caravan Workers came into the parish on 2 May and left again on 27 May, after a time of strenuous work largely devoted to giving instruction to confirmation candidates. I would like to say what a tremendous help their work has been to me.  At least 30 candidates live, some 30, others 50, and six of them 70 miles away from Wyalkatchem, our main centre. This fact makes ii very difficult to travel and give them regular and frequent instructions. Because Miss Burton, with her companion Miss Whalley, has been able to spend time at night on the farms far away and instruct the candidates, a great deal of important work has been done, which I could not possibly have managed myself since I have my regular daily round to do. I am most grateful for the splendid work that has been done and I pray that God will richly bless all their labours done in His name.”

Dongara: 22.7.1939 (The Revd R.G. Pym – Assistant Priest)

“. . . Quiet spiritual influence of the Missioner, who has made herself beloved by all.”

Moore River Native Settlement: 28.7.1939

“… I want to add the e thank s of the staff for the assistance Miss Burton gave at the hospital during a very taxing outbreak of pneumonia cases and flu among the staff; and for Miss Scott ‘s relief in the school. The natives all, young and old, have a very deep affection for Miss Burton and the caravan visit will long impress itself on all our memories as a happy, profitable occasion.”

Tour through Bencubbin-Nungarin: 7-27 March 1940 (The Revd Peter Hodge)

” The amount of good Miss Burton does is incalculable – she conducted services in places which have never had Good Friday or Holy Week Services before. Her work is almost perfect.

It is impossible to separate the caravaner from the caravan and vice-versa, and when I say that the caravan is a great asset to the parishes, I indicate that the Moving Church itself and Miss Burton as the Minister of that Moving Church are practically indispensable. “

 

If you would like to view the letters in their original format, please contact the office and we would love to show them to you.


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Monday Memories – Links with GFS and Perth Orphanage, Swan Homes

There was a long association between GFS and the girls of Perth Orphanage from the time it was in Adelaide Terrace until the girls moved in 1942 to join the boys at the Swan Orphanage because of wartime bombings in the north of the State. The name was then changed to Swan Homes. It became a tradition in the 1940’s for the girls to be invited to a Christmas party at GFS Headquarters and this was organised over a long period by Mrs. Margaret Moore (the wife of the Dean), who was the President of GFS at the time. She was assisted by members of the Orana club and the House Mother at Headquarters, as well as leaders and members from the branches. The hall was always gaily decorated and the paper hats and sweet baskets were made by the helpers.

As the Headquarters building was near the corner of High and Pier Streets, it was only a short walk to the Deanery after the party tea, to play games on the lawn behind the Deanery during the years that Mrs Moore lived there. Then it was back to Headquarters for a concert before they returned home. They were up to 60 girls from Swan attending these parties and there was usually 2 members from each branch there as well. For many years the little visitors were given gift as well as sweets before they left. However as they received many gifts from organisations at Christmas, it was suggested that branches arrange to send a birthday gift to each girl instead and also keep in touch by writing . This was done for a long time and built up many friendships.

Some of the girls from Swan homes the GFS Lodge their home when they commenced work and Mrs Viva Sundercome, who was later to receive the MBE for her work on the Anglican Orphanages Board and for her work with GFS, started a fellowship club for them at GFS Headquarters. Some moved to the country and she kept in touch with them by letter.

When Swan Homes became Swanleigh in 1960, with a role as school hostel instead of an orphanage, the Christmas party became one for the girls from Parkerville Children’s Home, some of whom had actually been invited to parties before. The Orana Club and the House Mother continued to organise these with the help of Headquarters Townsend Members as well as leaders and GFSers

For more information on Swan Homes you can go to https://buff.ly/311zjz2


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Monday Memories – Part 1 – The GFS Caravan

From 1926 – 1943 (17 years) a ‘little house on wheels’, as the children called it, travelled through the outback of Western Australia, bringing friendship, comfort and the message of the Gospel to the settlers, and a special ministry to their children.
The story of the GFS caravan, which pioneered mission outreach by van in this State to isolated farms and little town, is one of great personal faith and incredible bravery on the part of the women who drove the van and accompanied the driver – travelling through the heat of summer and the bitterly cold, wet winters on roads that were more often than not just bush tracks, with corrugations, rocky surfaces and deep ridges worn by carts.

They found themselves bogged in mud in the winter and facing fallen trees, floods and other hazards. Under the rough conditions, mechanical breakdowns were frequent and very often far away from any help. The women who drove the van soon became, by necessity – very proficient at ‘running’ repairs.

Amongst those they visited were settlers on the Peel Estate and the Group settlement areas of the south-west; people who had come from England to start a new life after World War 1 – the majority without any farming experience and with only enthusiasm and an axe to get them on their way. By 1926, 10,000 immigrants had moved into the Group Settlements in the south-west. A large proportion of the Group Settlers belonged to the Church of England. This placed a very heavy responsibility on the church in WA. The GFS was enabled to help through its van.

But how did GFS become involved in this way?
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Au2ebJm4-bVkgvAJShzXyQbk-_1afg?e=SNCZoD


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Blessed to be a Blessing Ball

ONE MONTH TO GO!!! Come and join us at our Blessed to be a Blessing Ball https://buff.ly/2NfTIMS $80 per person (includes a 3 course meal – alcohol available for purchase at a cash bar) Photobooth fun and a DJ to dance the night away 💃🕺 So get your dancing shoes on and get a ticket today – why not grab some friends and get a table of 10 together


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Monday Memories – Part 2 – The GFS Lodge

Continuing our MM of the GFS Lodge, you will recall that The Society agreed to purchase a property. Mr Vincent a prominent Perth business man whose wife has been an Associate of St George’s Cathedral branch for many years and a friend of Mrs Ethel Burt co-operated with others to put up the required amount and soon afterwards he and Mr Loton became such generous benefactors to the Society.
The building at 240 Adelaide Terrace was in a poor condition when purchased and needed extensive renovations to make it suitable for its purpose. The Honorary Architect was Mr Herbert Parry and he worked tirelessly to develop a practical and attractive Lodge on the site. The cost to build the centre block and kitchen and renovate the existing buildings was 1,600 pounds (approximately AUS$162,000 in todays value).

Lady Barron, who was the wife of the Governor and also Patron of the Society, raised 1,000 pounds in a personal fund raising campaign. A leather bound book in which the donations are recorded are held in our archives. The GFS branches also contributed to the appeal. It is interesting to remember that during that time men earned approximately 1 pound per week!

The GFS Lodge was official opened by the Governor Sir Harry Barron on 5 June 1915 in the presence of a large gathering of people and officials. It was Lady Barron’s aim that the Lodge should be free of debt before she left WA and she made a special appeal in 1917 before she left. By 1920 1,874 pounds, plus interest, had been paid off the load, with 900 pounds still wing to Messrs Vincent and Loton. This they very generously liquidated, leaving the Lodge free of any debt and owned by GFS. In addition, money collected by the President, Mrs Riley, in a special appeal was returned to her by Messrs Vincent and Loton. This money was later used to help establish a hostel at Fremantle.

First photo is of Lady Barron and second is of Mr Loton (Mayor of Perth)


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Monday Memories

This week we are sharing our memories of another one of our early members Miss Margaret Milne Robertson. She was the GFS Secretary from 1931 to 1937. She was also Chairman of the Ethel Burt Townsend Fellowship during its most active period. She was a branch leader at South Perth and also GFS Representative on the Travellers’ Aid Society.

She met many migrants on their arrival at Fremantle and assisted them in every way possible. This was a work she continued over many years. Miss Milne Robertson organised many Easter camps in the hills and also went out in the GFS caravan when help was needed.

There was a great deal of work carried out from GFS Headquarters during the Depression years and Miss Milne Robertson played a major role in coordinating this.


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