Commemorative overflow

Pictured outside the Mount Macedon Uniting Church before the commemorative service on Thursday are (from left) – Rev Deacon Jeanne Beale, Rev D’Arcy Wood, Rev Graham Hall.

Mount Macedon Uniting Church was overflowing for the Ash Wednesday fires’ 40th anniversary commemorative service last Thursday evening.

Rev Dr D’Arcy Wood led a moving service that remembered the events and outcomes of that day, the outpouring of help and support from far and wide, and the resilience of the community in recovering and rebuilding and continuing to grow.

Several people impacted on the day participated by briefly summarising their instant experiences when the inferno hit the Macedon/Mount Macedon area.

A brief history of the Mount Macedon Uniting Church was outlined; completely destroyed on Ash Wednesday, the church was rebuilt, and opened just 14 months after being destroyed, reflecting the strength and resilience of the whole community.

The church was shared with the Anglican congregation for six years until the Church of the Resurrection was completed at the eastern end of Honour Avenue.

Presbytery Minister Rev Deacon Jeanne Beale delivered the address.

More than 80 people attended, including Rev Graham Hall, the minister at the time 40 years ago and the driving force behind the recovery of the congregation and rebuilding of the church.

Understandably, a great many wanted to talk to Rev Hall.

Macedon Ranges mayor Annette Death and other councillors, the captains of both Macedon and Mount Macedon fire brigades, and other CFA members, as well as people from Bendigo, Romsey, the suburbs, Gisborne and locally attended.

Donations totalling $661 to support the two local CFA brigades were received.

“We were privileged to have been able to provide this opportunity to so many to remember and reflect on that day 40 years ago.

“We hope it brought comfort to anyone who still suffers as a result of their experiences,” stated Neil Tweddle, chairman of Mount Macedon Uniting Church.