Location: Marulan, New South Wales, Australia
My name is J. L. (nee M.) and I am with History Goulburn. I just wanted to contact you as I remember the Rev John Rose very well when he was at Marulan. I lived at Greenwich Park, about 22 kms from Marulan, and Mr Rose (as we knew him) conducted the services at the little wooden church we had at Greenwich Park. Services were held every 3rd Sunday afternoon of the month. We (the Mansfield family) attended pretty well every one until the Church was destroyed by the 1965 bushfire - my father cared for the church and my job was to clean it and the silver/brass for every service (I assume my mother did that before I was old enough to do it). My mother supplied the flowers for the church.. I believe Mr Rose also introduced a communion service for every fifth Sunday of the month (if there were one). After church, Mr Rose came to our house for afternoon tea as did any other members of the congregation my mother chose to invite.
We were a pretty small congregation: there were six in our family - which was a boost for numbers - and about six others. There was a woman who played the pedal organ for us until she became a Jehovah's Witness; after that we attempted to sing hymns unaccompanied but Mr Rose wisely advised us (most of my family were tone deaf) to just say the hymns. Mr Rose prepared three of us for confirmation when I was 12, and arranged for Bishop Arthur to come to the Church to confirm us - which was a big thing, believe me - and the organist even agreed to play the organ for the occasion, which was wonderful except that, at the afternoon tea after the confirmation, she presented Bishop Arthur with a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet - which rather shocked us all (except the Bishop).
I have very fond memories of Mr Rose - he perfectly fitted the description of "a sweet little man" - and accepted us all as we were. I always remember the day he took me aside when I was about 14 and said that now I was becoming a young woman and would have many boyfriends, it was very important that I always ask any boyfriend what religion he was, and if he said he was Roman Catholic then I must give him up straight away. (I must admit I didn't follow that advice). We also knew Mrs Rose and I remember visiting Mr and Mrs Rose at the Rectory in Marulan and Mrs Rose served her famous eggnog.
The Church at Greenwich Park was very special. It was simple unpainted timber - frequently attacked by white ants that my father often tried to eradicate - with two plain glass side windows - situated within the bush on rough stony ground (I believe it was built in 1930). Its six pews were each made from a bush log, split lengthwise, to form the seat on its cut side, and trimmed short bush timber to form its two legs at either end. It was a perfect setting for Mr Rose's honest faith and ministering.
After the Church burnt down, my parents organised some services in our rumpus room, but by then I was away at university and I think my mother had a fight with the then Bishop (she was inclined to do such things) and I fear Mr Rose may have borne some of the brunt of that.
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