APRIL 2017
St Paul's Newsletter
In this newsletter: 
Fr Nick's note
Photo Gallery
St Paul's First Vicar
Renaissance Dancers
Update from Ahmad
Parish Diary
St Paul's East Kew,
63 Windella Avenue,
East Kew, VIC 3102

Tel 03-9859-8593

'Like' us on Facebook!

Revd Nick White
Tel 0488-710-504

9 am Choral Eucharist
10:15 Morning tea
11 am Contemporary Eucharist 
(Children's participation, followed by morning tea)
5 pm Meditation
(1st Sunday of the month)

Second Wednesday
10 am Eucharist 


We are an inclusive Christian community in the Anglican
tradition. We value sacramental worship, intelligent faith, hospitality and social justice. 

Update from Ahmad*

Ahmad is now hoping to start university in Tours in September, at the start of the new French academic year. He will need to spend a year studying language to get his French to a high enough standard to continue the law degree he was studying in Damascus before Syria’s civil war brought that to a halt. He will subsequently have to spend a year studying to complete his basic degree.

Ahmad says France is a difficult place to be an Arab refugee from a non French-speaking country. The country is used to immigrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and the system to support refugees from other areas is weak, he says.

Ahmad volunteers with a group Incroyables Comestibles Tours, which grows for people in the local community. He has no major job, but casually teaches Arabic – mainly to children of Arab immigrants who aren’t Muslim but whose only other option for learning the language is at a mosque.

Now 41, Ahmad wants to start a family.

‘When I was in Syria, I didn’t want to have children, as they – like me – would be stateless. But now my children would be French citizens. But women here don’t want to have children. It’s different from Syria, where all women wanted to have them!’. 

*Ahmad Amroo is a Damascus-born Palestinian refugee St Paul's supported with medical treatment after he was injured in an assassination attempt in Damascus in 2012, early in Syria's civil war. At the end of 2014 St Paul's parishioners helped fund his travel to France, where he now lives as a permanent resident with refugee status. He lives in Tours, southwest of Paris. 

Photo Gallery
Michelle Trebilcock, who stood in for Fr Nick during his leave in January. 
Coles Hall at the start of its renovation. 
Peter Rankin renovating Coles Hall in February. 
February's Harvest Festival. 
James Kimpton cleaning the church roof during February's working bee. 
Debbie McColl-Davis at the Kew Ecumenical service in March. 
Stephanie and Catherine Waters at the Kew Festival in March. 
The newly renovated Coles Hall - ready for use!
View from the Palm Sunday altar. 
Nick's note

Dear People of St Paul’s,

Here's a poem - adapted for local context - for this season of Holy Week and Easter.


On the road to [Melbourne], he preached love and the crowd went wild with enthusiasm. They played guitars and sang songs about love, waved pink heart-shaped balloons and banners that said Make Love Not War. The march got headlines in the papers. TV cameras filmed it for the evening news. This was the people’s hero, everyone said, a man who could change the world.
Some day he would be Prime Minister.

When they arrived in the city, he told them what love was all about. Service, he said. Selling that second car and giving the money for a child who needed an operation. Seeing all people as equal. Judging no-one. Visiting folk in prison. Sharing food and shelter with those in need.

‘If you have a spare room in your house, why not invite a homeless person to come and live with you?’ he said. ‘Love is not about words but action.’

By the end of his speech, most of the crowd had drifted away. They called him a communist, said he had a screw loose, and they crucified him with their anger.

* Original title On the Road to Auckland

I wish you every blessing this Easter.

Fr Nick White,


St Paul's First Vicar

Cathy Dikmans writes the story of William T Reeve, the inaugural vicar of St Paul’s East Kew. Cathy met his grandson William Peter Reeve in February. He had earlier contacted Fr Nick.

William Reeve came to Australia on his own in 1910, sponsored by the Bishop of Bendigo, where he started training for Anglican priesthood. Born in Fulham, London, in 1890, his parents were William J Reeve, a butler in Norwich and Hannah Reeve.

His first posting was as a curate in Tongala in the Goulburn Valley. There he met his future wife Jessie (1892-1976). She was the organist at the small local church which had been built by her three brothers. She was a very strong person and a great organiser.

On 11 November 1916, they were married at St Stephen’s Anglican church in Richmond and returned to live in Tongala. In defiance of the bishop’s orders, William enlisted in the army and shortly after their marriage William locked up the church and went to war along with Jessie’s two brothers.

William was a stretcher bearer in the 3rd/5th ambulance brigade and served in the trenches mostly in Belgium. His grandson William Peter Reeve has many of the letters written home by William during WW1. In those letters he wrote of how much he loved walking through the French and Belgian countryside with friends when not on the front line. A love of walking stayed with him all his life and it was on a solitary walk in the Tasmanian bush that he died.

He saw terrible action, was badly gassed and suffered “trench fever” which permanently affected his health. During the war one of Jessie’s brothers, Jo, received the military medal but died in 1917 in France. He was with his younger brother George when he was shot. George carried him to the dressing station but he died three days later.

In early 1918, due to ill health, William was evacuated back to London where he stayed in hospital, studying at that time to complete his ordination. He also had the opportunity to spend time again with his parents and siblings.

In 1919 he returned to Bendigo and was the curate at St Mark’s Golden Square, Bendigo. He was also chaplain to the Bendigo jail. On the 29th March 1920, their first child was born, William Earnest Reeve (1920-2016). To his family, he was known as Bunny, and was the father of William Peter Reeve. In 1921 they adopted Dorothy who was then aged five. She had been adopted by a cousin of Jessie. The cousin died and rather than send Dorothy back to the orphanage, William and Jessie adopted her. Once in Melbourne, she attended Camberwell Girl’s Grammar School. Jessie was very strict with her and she was not told that she was adopted. It seems that on discovery of her adoption, she was very upset and at age 22 went by ship to the UK. During the voyage she met a man whom she eventually married after the birth of a child. Jessie and the family would have no further contact with her. She died in London in 1977.

In 1921-22 the family moved to Melbourne and William was appointed as secretary to the Church Mission Society, working at the cathedral. They lived in Canterbury in one of the parish properties of St Paul’s Canterbury until in 1925 William was appointed vicar of the newly-built church of St Paul’s East Kew. While the East Kew vicarage was being built, they lived in a rented house at 37 Hartwood Street. In 1928 a second son was born, Lawrence (1928-2013).

Frank Elliott remembered William as being a “very sweet and gentle” person. He loved walking still and neither he nor Jessie ever drove a car. He used to walk to Alphington along the outer circle line and thought nothing of a ten-mile walk. He and Jessie had managed the parish well and grown the congregation. In 1930 William was offered the position of vicar at St John the Baptist church in Hobart. This would be a much larger church and stipend.

George Coles, a wealthy parishioner of St Paul’s, encouraged William to take this position and since the family could not afford the move, Coles paid for the whole family’s passage and relocation by ship to Hobart. On his leaving, the parishioners of St Paul’s presented William with a gold fob watch which is now in the proud possession of William Peter Reeve - to be handed on in the family. 

In 1936, their oldest son, Bunny, enlisted in the RAN and was on one of the first Australian ships to arrive in France. William took leave of absence from his Hobart parish and enlisted in the army. He spent the entire war years at the Brighton Barracks in Hobart, becoming a colonel. During this time he had a couple of long stints in hospital with heart problems, never having recovered to full health after WW1. In 1944 he was discharged due to ill health.

William and Jessie both loved fishing and William loved to walk in bushland in Tasmania. A wealthy parishioner, Alan Knight, owned a chalet guest house at Tarraleah in bushland and William often spent holidays alone there, walking and taking photos. On Monday, 26 July 1948, he sent a letter to his Bunny and his daughter-in-law. It was written from the chalet at Tarraleah. He wrote how much he loved his solitary walks even though it was cold with snow still lying in shaded places. He was to return home at the end of the week. On Thursday, 29 July he went out for a walk in the morning, taking his camera and he didn’t return for lunch. Management reported this to Jessie and the next day search parties were sent out. No trace of him was ever found.

The Mercury reported his disappearance on Monday, 2 August, 1948.

In May 1949, William was officially pronounced dead. At his church of St John the Baptist in Hobart, a chapel was dedicated to him.

Little Hall, Big Impact
We gather in the church on Sundays for thanksgiving and to pay homage to the Lord. But a very different sort of gathering takes place in the church hall on Wednesday evenings where, for the past thirty years, the Rippon Lea Renaissance Dancers have assembled to pay homage to the arts of long ago.

Renaissance Dancing goes back, more or less, to the period between Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and the local team is well-versed in the slow pavans, sprightly galliards, complex Italian balletti and other dances of the era.

The group wears colourful court costumes during its three annual concert series with the Early Music Consort of Melbourne at Ballarat (the group is pictured above after a recent concert at the Art Gallery of Ballarat), Brighton and Warragul. Programs have also been presented at The National Gallery of Victoria and interstate.
But, perhaps, the dancers’ most spectacular achievements took place between 1977 and 1998 when members of the team, headed by director Helga Hill OAM (playing the fidel, above), were invited each year to give courses in Austria, Sweden and England – and often in New Zealand.

As one commentator put it – ‘They’re exporting Europe’s long lost historic arts back to Europe’! And it all began in St Paul’s Church Hall where newly-researched dances were taught on Wednesday evenings before inaugural performances in local concert venues and, later, in European castles and manor houses.

According to Helga, St Paul’s Hall may not be famous but, over many years, it has made a valuable contribution to the international revival of the arts of former times. ‘We see it as our home’, she says. 

Mark Hill
Parish Diary

Tuesday 18 April

Parish Council Meeting

Wednesday 19 April
No Eucharist (held at 10am on second Wednesday of the month)

Sunday 23 April
9am Choral Eucharist
11am Contemporary Eucharist
12:15pm Light lunch
12:45pm Good Neighbour Project workshop to discuss our social justice initiative

Monday 24 April
Blumes fashion sales and lunch

Saturday 29 April
Working Bee

Sunday 30 April
9am Choral Eucharist
11am Contemporary Eucharist
Our Parish and providing for its needs

The Wardens of the Parish are mindful of and thankful for the ongoing support from many that enables the life of this community to continue. They would also like to draw to the attention of all who love the Parish what a wonderful benefit it can be if people choose to remember the Parish when they are making their will. 

A bequest can be of a general kind or be directed towards a specific purpose (eg. into our organ or music or building funds). If you would like to discuss this, please approach a warden.

Bequest brochures are available in the Narthex. 
All Enquiries to the Vicar Fr Nick White
(including Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and Pastoral Care)

Cathy Dikmans, Kaye Thompson & David Were
Parish Secretary:
David Were
Hall Hire: 
Lesley Kelly
Care and communication circle: 
Lesley Kelly & Kaye Thompson
Parish Treasurer: 
Anne Leeds
Children's Ministry: 
Stephanie Waters
Quiet Days, meditation services: 
Cathy Dikmans
Production notes: Thanks to Fr Nick and all who contributed to this newsletter, particularly Cathy Dikmans, Noel Kelly, Ahmad Amroo and Mark Hill. Please contact Fr Nick or Michael Bleby ( with any queries or requests for the next newsletter. 
Copyright © 2017 St Paul's East Kew, All rights reserved.

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