ALL SAINTS CHURCH, NORTHCOTE, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA:
Rev. Alfred Charles Kellaway served as Minister at All Saints Anglican Church, Northcote for 29 years until he died aged 73 years in 1930. His eldest daughter Gwen was a highly respected Church Missionary in the Kerala Region of Southern India. She was supported throughout by the Parish of All Saints, Northcote.
In 1924 Gwen returned briefly to Melbourne (probably due to the death of her mother).
The Parish Paper for 1924 contains many references to Gwen and gives us an insight into her life, work and the conditions in Southern India at the time.
I am very grateful to Alma Ryrie – Jones, the current Church Warden of All Saints, for sending me these Parish newsletters.
MARCH 1924 Issue
Annual Meeting 20 FebruaryMessrs. Peter and O′Brian spoke in sympathetic terms of the loss incurred by the Vicar and his family through the death of Mrs Kellaway.
Dates to be RememberedMay 7 – Farewell Social to Miss Kellaway.
MAY 1924 IssueThe annual social gathering of Gleaners and friends will be held in the Parish Hall on Wednesday, May 7, and will take the form of a farewell to Miss Gwen Kellaway, who is returning to India by the “Narkunda” on May 13. She is undertaking new work at Tiruwella, about 18 miles from Kottayam, and is to have charge of a training home for native Christian women of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. The house is now in course of erection, and should be ready for occupation on June 1. The object in view is the training of women leaders, who will help to organise and develop work, particularly among women and children, take part in evangelistic work among non-Christians and in social service. Miss Kellaway is anxious to secure the prayerful co–operation of all who are willing to help in this way. The Gleaners′ Union invites all parishioners to met her at this farewell gathereing, and hear from her own lips all she desires to say to them. A special Communion Service for the outgoing missionary and her friends will be held on Sunday, May 11, at evening service.
JUNE 1924 IssueWhen the s.s. Narkunda was nearing Freemantle on May 19, Miss Kellaway wrote to her many friends at Northcote, as follows:—“My Dear Friends,—My mind has been much with you, especially yesterday (Sunday), thinking of the Farewell Communion the week before. But yesterday was a very different day for me, though much the same for you. We had rough weather crossing the Bight, but Sunday was a wild day with a strong head wind and mighty billows. How the wind blustered and roared, and how the ship tossed and pitched and trembled! Services were arranged, but had to be given up, as the storm was so bad. I found a cosy nook on the top deck and stayed there quite alone, for most people thought the top deck too cold, and I felt too ill to go anywhere else. And as I sat in my chair and listened to the wind, my mind went back over furlough, and your very great kindness and liberality, both as a congregation in the gift of the prayer room for the Vunitha Mundirum, and individually in your numerous gifts to me during the last weeks at home. I had meant to thank you when speaking on Sunday evening at the Commumion Service, but my great theme carried me away. My constant prayer for you is that you may abound in sacrificial living, as you have already abounded in liberality and kindness.—Yours lovingly and gratefully, GWENDOLINE KELLAWAY.”
AUGUST 1924 IssueLetters from Miss Kellaway tell of strikes and floods in South India, which greatly delayed her on her journey, added to its expense, and caused some injury to her luggage, but through it all she retained a patient and trustful spirit, and was able to thank God for all His mercies. She found building operations at Tiruwella had been delayed, and the house not ready for occupation. She had however, a hearty welcome from fellow–workers and a warm reception from the poor outcaste women of Kottayam. Till the training home is ready for occupation, she is doing preparatory work visiting the native women in their villages. She sends loving greetings to all her friends here.
SEPTEMBER 1924 IssueMiss Kellaway writes from Ootacamund to say that she had been obliged to remain there owing to the floods which washed away the railway in several places, and greatly delayed building operations at Tiruwella. It is proposed to send her a small box at the end of September with the usual gifts for the children in the outcaste schools. What she wants most of all is a latern and slides of Biblical subjects for use among the unevangelised people on the Malabar coast. Gifts for enclosure in the box should reach the Vicarage not later than September 20.
OCTOBER 1924 IssueThe box for Miss Kellaway will be packed towards the close of October (instead of September, as announced in last issue), and all gifts for enclosure should reach the vicarage not later than October 20.
Miss Kellaway has written a very interesting account of a tour through some outlying villages of Travancore. She says the opportunities are tremendous. There is an awakened and awakening Christian womanhood, a slowly rising mass movement of the Lower Hindu castes Christward, and an open door great and effectual among Christians and heathens. She realises it all acutely, and longs intensely to be a vessel meet for the Master′s use and prepared unto every good work.
DECEMBER 1924 IssueThe Missionary Work Party held their annual sale on November 14 and 15. It was declared open by Mrs W.M. Buntine of Caulfield, in a very fitting and gracious speech. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, the attendances were not quite up to expectations but sales amounted to £45, of which £40 was voted by the Committee for Miss Kellaways′s work in Travancore. A good many articles remain unsold. These will be disposed of as opportunity offers. The Committee tenders heartiest thanks to all friends and helpers, not forgetting Beryl Challen, who presented to Mrs Buntine a bouquet, which had been kindly made by Mrs Birch for that purpose.
Read about Gwen in Australia and India
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