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13 Dec 16

Article Author / Patricia Apostolakis

Centenary celebrations kick-off with an elegant Chapel Service

On Friday, 2 December 2016, Wesley College kicked-off the first of their Centenary celebrations with an elegant Chapel Service commemorating 100 years of the role Wesley College and The Uniting Church in Australia have played in the lives of students attending The University of Sydney with a special unveiling of the Memorial Stone.

Despite the thick summer heat, a fair number of guests attended the Service which was followed by afternoon tea on the front lawn. Some of the guests who attended represented the Old Collegian community, Vice Chancellor of The University of Sydney – Dr Michael Spence, Wesley College staff and members of the Uniting Church in Australia.

College Chaplain, Rev. Barbara Oldmeadow, led the Service, assisted by Rev. Ian Diamond.

Wesley College Senior Student, Georgia Campbell, read the Bible Reading; an excerpt taken from 2 Peter 1.3-15; which spoke about recalling the qualities that were given to Christians to live a fruitful life and more importantly, make every effort to support their faith with goodness.

The message was then further emphasised in the Address that followed which was delivered by Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney, former Chaplain at Wesley College in 1985 and former President of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Rev. Prof. Dutney referenced the College motto “Ministrate infide vestra virtutem”, which directly translates to “add to your faith virtue”, or as he interpreted to “make every effort to support your faith with goodness” which was the recurring theme in Peter’s letter.

The Service was enhanced with beautiful hymns sung by the Wesley College Choir, which was comprised of recent Old Collegians and conducted by Mr. Richard Daley, also an Old Collegian, Music Mentor and Director of Palladian. The Choir’s emotional connection and the sudden changes in rhythm of the music was enough to send shivers down your spine.

The Master, Lisa J. Sutherland, gave a very relevant and interesting insight into some of the headlines that were ‘noteworthy’ in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper 100 years ago.

Amongst obvious wartime stories such as the Sydney six o’clock swill, introduced to improve public morality and wartime austerity measure and the plebiscite on introducing conscription; there was an article about the laying of the Foundation stone at Wesley College, The University of Sydney.

The article spoke of plans for a building with a 200ft frontage, a dining hall, lecture room, library, common room and bedrooms. Architects, Mr B Hadley and builders, Mr R Wall and Sons were appointed to complete the work scheduled to cost 26,000 pounds and to be finished within the year.

The Master then explained the significant role that Wesley College plays today, particularly in the wider education of undergraduates as they prepare for their future and life after College; and then unveiled the all-important Memorial Plaque.

The closing phase of the Service offered prayers and hymns for the College which tied in very nicely with the Centenary theme.

Once the formalities ended, the guests were invited to enjoy a pleasant drink and afternoon tea under the cool shade of the trees on the front lawns. It was a lovely afternoon.

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