By Bonnie Milne
The Ladies’ Guild, called the Brunswick Women’s Guild, met for the first time on 11 May 1905. Its members were Mesdames Boake (President), Partridge (Vice-President), Heppingstone, Hawkins, Ougden, Fernside, Timperley (Secretary), Rose (Vice-President) and Miss Johnston (Treasurer). By November of that year they had determined to collect funds to erect a church in Brunswick Junction. Collectors were appointed and Mrs Barnes of Benger and Miss Delaporte were first to hand in contributions of £8. The Guild continued to raise funds and has operated with changes to membership and officers over the years, with the exception of the war years of 1915/16.
Encouraged by their fundraising, the WA Bank was approached for an overdraft of £200, guaranteed. When that was granted they called tenders for a building. William Rafferty of Roelands was appointed to erect the ‘Nave only’ at a cost of £340.
A foundation stone was laid on 21 September 1907, with ‘Masonic Honours’. The Worshipful Master, KM Eastman of the Wellington Lodge laid the stone in the presence of the Lord Bishop of Bunbury and others. Brother SA Easthaugh, treasurer for the Lodge, placed a time capsule containing newspapers of the time, a coin of the realm and a parchment commemorating the event, in the cavity beneath the stone. St Peter’s parochial officers of that time were the Rector, Reverend Alan Bayly Wyrill, Mesdames Rose, Ougden, Timperley, Kasten and Perren, also Messrs Partridge, Kasten, Fry, H Piggott, AE Clifton, D Marriott, Muldoon, Crampton and EY Clifton. The architect was FW Steere.
St Peter’s Church and hall
When Mrs AB Perren offered a loan of £300, the committee accepted and paid off the bank loan. By 1909 Mrs Perren’s loan had been repaid. The committee decided to complete the building of the church when Mrs Perren again offered to lend them £300. A building committee, set up to oversee the project consisted of John Partridge, AE Clifton, Lukie Crampton, CF Kasten and AA Muldoon with Rev. J Williams as secretary. Rebecca Perren’s loan was guaranteed by members of the community – Algernon Clifton, HH Holley, ME Rose, HW Drummond, Stephen H Fry, CF Kasten, John Partridge, DW Marriott, AA Muldoon, H Piggott, Luke Crampton and Arthur Clifton. The job went to tender and was completed for £370, with J&H Gibbs of Bunbury as builder and FW Steere as architect. St Peter’s Church of England in Brunswick, with all its additions, was consecrated by Right Rev. Frederick, Lord Bishop of Bunbury on 1 February 1911.
In 1958, the then Rector, Rev. WS Copland, set up a Combined Funds Canvass, to raise funds for churches in the district – St Peter’s, Brunswick, St Michael’s, Roelands and St John’s, Burekup. The aim was to raise £16,500 to fund various needs within the parish, a youth centre, training equipment, Rector’s stipend and other maintenance and building requirements. The canvassers, well-trained and organised to visit families and parish homes, included Messrs S Mitchell, WJ Clarke, Alan Sier, Herman Britza and Guerney Fry. They were backed by Mrs D Egan, Hostess Chairman and her committee.
Some of the other Rectors of St Peter’s who have come and gone over the years are AB Wyrill, J Williams, TO Hurst, Moorhouse, A Fryer, BJ Williams, Limbert, BW Earl, EA Codd, AH Tassel, J Paisley, B Somner, B Wrightson. Organists have included Mesdames Pine, Timperley, Ougden, Marsten and Misses Kasten, Giles, Partridge and Miller.
In the year 2007 on 23 September, historical St Peter’s of Brunswick celebrated its centenary. The church was freshened up for the event with a new roof, some new paint and a change of carpet. Celebrations began with a service. The original time capsule was retrieved and another buried. Descendants of the first worshippers gathered together with past and present parishioners. The little church was too small to hold the visitors to the big event so the local hall became the venue for the day’s re-union and celebration.
From notes taken from History of St Peter’s by TB Stanley, various newspaper articles of events and A Plan for a Combined Funds Canvass, 1958 for the Parochial District of Brunswick Junction.