Knowing we would be celebrating our Church Anniversary today, I asked our Church Archivist, Edna Jones, a few questions during the week. Here is what she shared with me.
How long have you been the Archivist and why did you take on the role?
Only since the last Church AGM in August. I took over from Russell Holly who had been doing it for several years. I like history, especially Church history, and have an interest in heritage buildings so it was a way I thought I could help.
What does the role involve?
So far, I’ve been mainly sorting and organising our records and getting a feel for what we have. I would eventually like to make sure appropriate records are digitised. Also, our Centenary is only 9 years away, so I have started thinking about a Centenary publication.
Since becoming church archivist have you discovered any ‘gems’?
I’m still learning/discovering what we have in our archives and I am grateful for all the fantastic work done by my predecessors. I’ve discovered:
- Dr Waldock’s passport (just an ordinary piece of paper with his description — 5ft 8 inches tall etc)
- The beautiful Cradle Roll Certificates from the 1930s
- An Invitation to Dame Pattie Menzies to speak at the Ladies’ Fellowship
- A Canberra Times article about
Astronaut Colonel James Irwin (Apollo 15 mission) playing tennis here and then speaking to the congregation.
Do you have any particular reflections you’d like to share?
In looking through the Archives, reading the histories that have already been written about our Church and reflecting on the ‘gems’, I have realised that it can be easy to be distracted by the gems, the famous people who have passed through our church, and the ‘good old days’, but our history is about the everyday stories of happiness, stories of sadness and tragedy and of course the everyday life.
Which leads me to The Centenary Project (100 years, 1,000 memories, 10,000 reasons why). It is important to record our history, to tell our story, to acknowledge our heritage and what it means to be Baptist. However, it is also about the present tasks before us and most importantly the future hope that strengthens our witness (build an inclusive, caring community, and share God’s love and justice in words and actions).
If people have any items related to the Church’s history, what should they do?
Please let me know so we have a record of its existence and its location. We can also scan or photograph it. If you would like to pass it, we can add it to the Archives for safe keeping.