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Where Have We Come From

February 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—After many years of service as Envelope Steward, P. N. Lascelles has resigned the position and Mr. F. Taylor appointed to fill the office. We congratulate the leaders of our Boys' Brigade, Life Boys and G.L.B. on the splendid work they have accomplished among their young folk during another year of service. We pray for all our folk who are sick, and those in hospital, that they may soon be restored to health and strength again.—P. W. L.


March 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—After many years of faithful service Mr. A. H. Sims has resigned from the positions of assistant treasurer and Envelope recorder. We extend to him our sincere thanks,, and pray that he may be spared for many years to enjoy the fellowship of God's people Messrs. Colin Turner and Murray Fowler have been appointed to fill the vacancies. During our ministers absence on holiday our pulpit was ably filled by the following: Revs. J. Cuming, P. F. Lanyon; Messrs. S. Baker, D. Warren M. Fowler and Ray Grant; to one and all we say a big Thank You. Our Youth departments have commenced the year with zeal and enthusiasm which promises good results. Wedding bells have been ringing over the holiday period for Miss Muriel Barley and Mr. Archie Mills, and Miss Majorie Bell and Mr. Houston Smith—congratulations. The efforts of our carol party on Christmas morning were rewarded by being able to send £15 to our Manurewa Children's Home. A visit by a contingent of our young folk from our Palmerston North Church was much appreciated. We have to report the home-call of two whose lives had been spent in the Master's service, Mrs. A. Murray and Mr. Arthur Hoby. Mrs. Murray had worshipped with us during recent months and to the members of her family we extend our deepest sympathy. Mr. Hoby, although not in membership, worshipped with us for a number of years. His was a saintly life and the writer can well remember his work among the young men at our Easter camps. Many owe their conversion to the kindly word spoken by our departed brother. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Allan Gamman on the arrival of a son, and Mr. and Mrs Colin Adamson on the birth of twin daughters. We pray the Great Physician may continue to restore to health Mesdames Gibb, P. W. Lascelles, D. Hall, and Mr. Gooding and any who are unable to attend worship.— P. W. L.


April 1947

Miss Mavis Mardon

Miss Mardon is a member of the Hastings Church. She has accepted an appointment to the St. Andrew's Homes, Kalimpong, as a teacher. Miss Mardon is a missionary enthusiast and hopes to see something of our missionary work in India. Kalimpong is only 30 miles from Darjeeling, so it is expected she will see something of our missionaries when on holiday. In Auckland, Mrs. S. T. Page and Miss D. Gaze farewelled her on behalf of our Missionary Society.


HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—A good spirit of fellowship and co-operation prevailed at our annual church meeting. Satisfactory reports from all church activities were read by our secretary. The treasurer's financial statement showed a very healthy condition. Messrs. A. E. Morgan and H. Beckett retired from the deaconate and were thanked for their past service, Mr. Morgan having served the church faithfully and well over a period of years. Messrs. G. Wallace and Chas. Rawlings were appointed as deacons. Miss E. Sims relinquished her temporary position as treasurer, and to her the church is under a deep debt of gratitude. Appreciation was expressed of the year's work by the Rev. and Mrs. Grave. We are sorry to report the resignation of Captain K. Hawkes, of the B.B. Captain Hawkes has given of his best during the past 13 years, and under his leadership the brigade has grown to be the largest in the North Island. Mr. and Mrs. Alan Gammon brought their wee son Peter, and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Trotter their daughter Noelene to God's house for dedication. An after church social hour was held to do honour and make a presentation to Mr. Ken Halstead and Miss Ailsa Thomson on the eve of their approaching wedding. We said farewell to Miss Mavis Mardon, who has left us for India to take up missionary work at St. Andrew's Colonial Homes in Northern Bengal. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Gibb and family on the home call of a loving wife and mother. After a long illness borne with Christian fortitude, our sister has departed to be with her Lord, Whom she loved so dearly. For the many folk who are sick, we would pray for them a speedy recovery to health.—P. W. L.


May 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—A visit from Mr. E. M. Bardsley, president Central Auxiliary, did much to arouse our interest in Union affairs. Our harvest festival celebrations were once again a time for great rejoicing, a bounteous display of fruit and produce demonstrating God's goodness to His children. A "Pageant of Thanksgiving," performed by scholars of the Sunday School at the morning service, was of special interest. At the evening service the choir rendered the cantata, "The Rolling Seasons," a spiritual feast in song. At both services our minister preached appropriate addresses. Our Manurewa Home will benefit to the extent of £20 from the sale of the harvest goods. Our Sunday School superintendent, Mr F. H. Thetford, is encouraged with many new scholars and a happy band of teachers. A fine muster of our Boys' Brigade paraded for their enrolment service, when their padre, Rev. J. R. Grave, spoke a stirring message to the boys from the text. "Fight the good fight of Faith." We were privileged to listen to Messrs. A. Louden and W. Hicks, of the Sudan United Mission, tell us the story of the work in this mission field. Our Youth Director, Rev. P. L. A. Crampton, conducted our morning worship and addressed our young folk at a Bible Class rally. Mr. I. Moses, of the Inter-varsity Fellowship, paid us a visit. Our deep sympathy goes to Miss C. Way in the loss of her father, and to Mr. A. E. Morgan on the Home-call of his father, a truly Christian gentleman. It is with deep regret that we have said good-bye to Miss Gwen Gill, on the eve of her departure for Australia. Miss Gill has been a most willing worker in all the church activities as well as ably filling the position as one of our organists. We wish her well in her new sphere. We would remember in prayer Mrs. Cecil Grundy, Mrs. Sisson, and all others who are sick.—P. W. L.


June 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—Our Week of Prayer and Self-denial coincided with a visit from our Union President, Mr. B. Williams, and our two distinguished missionaries, the Revs. B. N. Eade and Royston Brown. We enjoyed the visit of these brethren and listened with keen interest to the inspiring and encouraging story they brought us of our work in India. Apart from the Sunday services, a men's tea and public meeting were held, and the Rev. Mr. Brown addressed the members of the Hastings Rotary Club at their weekly luncheon. Our Self-denial offering created a record £175, for which we give God the glory. Mother's Day services were celebrated, our minister preaching appropriate addresses to young and old. We congratulate Mr. Colin Turner on his marriage to Miss Alice Arthur of our Napier Church. Colin is serving his church as treasurer, and to the happy couple we pray God's richest blessing. Our minister has been honoured by the appointment as choirmaster to our Hastings combined school choirs. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs. G. Stephens on the home call of her husband.— P. W. L.


July 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—May has been a month of rich spiritual uplift, and a time of blessing from the Lord. Report of mission services held by Messrs. R. J. Thompson and J. McFadyen of our College is published elsewhere. A visit from Mr. Roy Heslop of the Ceylon and General Mission was very welcome. His illustrated lantern lecture was stimulating. Our special offering for famine relief in the Northern Tripura was responded to generously when £50 was given. The Rev. and Mrs. R. Grave have completed five years of service with us. As they commence another year we pray that their labours may be used of God to the building up of the saints and the winning of others to know Him as their Saviour. A very pretty wedding was solemnised by our minister when Miss Doris Beckett and Mr. Howard Priest were united in holy matrimony. We remember Mrs. Sisson, Mrs. Grundy and Messrs. Marriott and Gjording in hospital and pray for them the Master's healing touch.—P. W. L.


August 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—The recent visit of Messrs. R. Thompson and J. McFadgen did much to stimulate the work of our Bible Classes; with increased numbers and interest our leaders are much encouraged. We wish to congratulate Mrs. F. H. Thetford and Miss Jean Schofield on gaining their teachers' standard of merit diplomas. Our G.L.B. has concluded a very successful annual appeal; we pray for them a happy year of service. A visit from Miss Cowles was much enjoyed. A pretty wedding was solemnised at the home of the bride's parents, when Mr. Doug. Bewley and Miss Ida Stevens were united in wedlock. We pray for Mrs. Sisson and Messrs. Marriott and Gjording, still in hospital, and many others of our folk who are sick, that the Master's presence may be very real to them. Hastings was privileged in having a visit from the Rev. J. H. Deane, B.A., B.D., and Mr. Les. Rushbrook, who came to tell us of the activities of the N.Z.B.T.I. An eager band of young folk gather weekly for their Young People's Fellowship under the enthusiastic leadership of Mr. Charles Rawlings. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Stevens and family on the home-call of a devoted wife and mother.—P. W. L


September 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—Both minister and people alike were encouraged when six of our young folk followed their Lord in the waters of baptism, and later 10 members were added to the church roll through baptism and transfer. Commencing with an early morning Communion service, Bible Class Week created an atmosphere of expectancy among members during a week of added activities. Several members assisted our minister in the Sunday services, and a rally of past and present Bible Class members followed by a tea was a happy gathering. The Young Women's Bible Classes organised a concert as part of their missionary effort. Mr. and Mrs. Norman Taylor and Mr. and Mrs. Herb Baker brought their babes to God's House for dedication. Our Boys' Brigade broke all records when their collection for Boys' Brigade Week amounted to £162. Well done, boys! Miss B. Lord has had to relinquish her position as Captain of the Girls' Life Brigade, and Miss Mildenhall has been appointed to the position. We continue to remember in prayer many of our number who are sick.—P. W. L.


October 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—A visit from Rev. E. M. Enright telling us of his call for service with the British Syrian Mission increased our interest in the land of Syria. Describing the missionary work in Brazil with a fine set of lantern slides, Mr. Rod Gillanders told the story of the winning of these folk to Jesus Christ. A gift evening, arranged by the Young People's Fellowship, was taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Doug Bewley to wish them well on the occasion of their recent marriage. The Boys' Brigade also made a presentation to Mr. Bewley who has been an active member in the brigade for a number of years. We wish to congratulate our minister, Rev. Russell Grave, on his successful conducting of the combined Primary Schools' choir at their annual concert. This is a new venture for our minister but he carried off the position with distinction. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. I. Hodson on the sad loss of their infant son; to Mrs. Barden, on the Home Call of her mother; and to Miss Nicholls, on the passing of her sister. We rejoice with Mr. and Mrs Cecil Grundy on the birth of a son. We extend to Mr. and Mrs. J. Gwyn our heartiest good wishes on their recent Golden Jubilee as reported elsewhere. For the many who are sick we pray for them a speedy return to health. During the temporary absence, through illness, of Mr. Ray Baker, Mr. Chas Rawlings has willingly accepted the responsibility of our branch Sunday School at Pukahu.— P. W. L.


November 1947

A Musical Success

Among his exacting pastoral duties, the Rev. Russell Grave has undertaken public duties which win the recognition of his town. For several years, through his enterprise, the united church choirs have rendered the "Messiah" with marked success. This year the leader of the Hastings Public Schools' Choir was unfit, and Mr. Grave undertook the training of 350 children, town and country. The concert was given on September 18, and was attended by upwards of 1,000. The descant singing was a marked feature. The hymn "O God, Our Help" was a chief feature in a general programme. A leading schoolmaster attributed the success to "your capacity as conductor. It was fine work, unobtrusive, but very effective."


Golden Wedding

On their Golden Wedding anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. J. Gwyn, Hastings, were honoured at a wedding breakfast attended by members of their family and many old friends. Congratulatory messages were received from all over New Zealand. Mr and Mrs. Gwyn were married, in the Hanover Street Church by Rev. Alfred North on August 24, 1897. They set up their first home in the Catlins district, for many years facing the hard conditions of life in bush country with cheerfulness and courage. They were not long in joining the Owaka Baptist Church, where they worshipped for 37 years. For a long period Mr. Gwyn was treasurer of the church, while his wife found joy in the B.W.M.U. and other avenues of Christian service. They moved to Hastings 20 years ago. and have been consistently devoted to the service of Christ through His Church. Their children, Mesdames A. Hill (Wellington), F. H. Hawkes and E. Palmer (Hastings), and Mr. Victor Gwyn (Otaki), are all active in Christian work.— J. R. G.


HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—We were pleased to release our minister to represent the Central Auxiliary at the induction of the Rev. A. L. Silcock at Gisborne. During Mr Grave's absence the Rev. H. G. Gilbert and Major Millar, of the S.A., ably conducted our services. A week-end visit of a contingent of officers and boys of the Boys' Brigade, from Palmerston North, was much enjoyed by our company. Besides the social events a combined church parade was 'a special feature of the visit. We were pleased to welcome Mr. Howard Trotman, Dominion Secretary of the Boys' Brigade, who did much to stimulate interest in our Brigade. Mr. Trotman also brought us greetings from the Central Auxiliary. We miss Mr. A. H. Sims from service, and pray for him a speedy return to health. God has blessed Hastings Church with a caretaker who puts her Christianity into practice in keeping God's house in a spotless condition. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Rawlings and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gammon on the arrival of bonny daughters.—P. W. L.


December 1947

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—The highlight of this month's activities has been our Sunday School anniversary. The singing of the children and choir was of a very high order and reflected great credit on Miss Mina Sowersby, conductor. The floral decorations were artistically arranged by Miss Sims and her helpers. Services were conducted by Rev. F. Copeland (Methodist) and Rev. Russell Grave. During our minister's absence at Assembly our pulpit was ably supplied by Rev. F. Copland and Mr. S. Baker, assisted by our preacher's band. A visit from Miss A. Barnes, of the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade was enjoyed and her lantern lecture most enlightening. We extend our deepest sympathy to the relatives of the late Mr. J. W. Marriott. Mr. S. Curd and family and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Burns on the home-call of loved ones. A young people's camp was held at Labour weekend and proved a time of fun and spiritual refreshing. Contingents from Palmerston North and Napier joined with our young folk to make the gathering such a success. On Sunday morning the campers attended morning service at the church and were addressed by Rev. Ridland Jamieson. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Horace Growden on the arrival of a wee daughter.—P. W. L.

N.Z. Baptist Magazine

Since the first days of the church, Hastings Baptist submitted regular summaries of church life and events to the New Zealand Baptist Magazine.  As part of the centenary archive those updates have been collected and reproduced here.  It is a catalogue of people and moments that have shaped the church’s story.