Monday Memories – Mission Work Part 1

Mission Work

There has always been strong support from GFS for the Mission work of the church. Fund raising has been prominent, but over quite a long period there was also a great back-up of ‘physical needs’ for the Mission field. Missionaries sent lists of requests to supporters and lists were also available from Mission offices. Working from these, GFS members and leaders made vast quantities of teaching and other aids, particularly in the 1950s, I960s and early 1970s. Often there was an exhibition of these at GFS Headquarters or Burt Hall before they were packed in tea-chests by members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of ABM/AMC and dispatched to the particular Missions from which requests had come. There would have been tens of thousands of articles made over the years and a list of items sent to New Guinea and Melanesia in 1970 included 1 ,000 teaching aids of all kinds, 544 toilet articles, 54 patchwork quilts, 20 knitted rugs (made from squares the girls had knitted), 4,538 roller bandages and 755 knitted bandages. In addition, approximately 350,000 stamps and 8,184 matchbox labels were collected for sale, with the proceeds of about $68 going to Missions.
Following on an article in the ABM Review, GFS decided to provide 250 dresses needed for girls at one of the Missions. There were ‘working bees’ at G FS Headquarters for cutting and preparation of the garments for sewing and the result was a colourful collection of attractive frocks.
 
There was a personal involvement and interest in the GFS work for Missions because of links with some of the Missionaries. Miss Maxine Fuller was a leader at St Aidan’s, Scarborough GFS branch and Secretary to the Manager of a big Perth company when she decided to offer herself for Missionary service. There was no vacancy for a Secretary, but there was an urgent need for teachers. She had always wanted to be a teacher but had never had the opportunity to train. She was delighted when in 1965 she was accepted by ABM for training as a Missionary teacher. After completing a preparatory course at the House of the Epiphany in Sydney she undertook ‘crash’ teacher training at Port Moresby.
Maxine worked first at Popondetta then later on the tiny island of Kumbun, where she was Teacher-in-Charge. She had constant prayer support from GFS and any requests for aids to help her in her work were always met by GFS members. Maxine served in the Mission field for many years and loved the work she did. She regretted having to give it up through deteriorating health. She later married and made her home in Queensland.

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