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Fr L W Grayson (1951-1961) Parochial District of All Saints'

The new District was created on 1st March 1951 with the new Vicar, Fr L W (Chum) Grayson, taking his first service on Sunday 4th March at All Saints’. He was instituted as the first Vicar by His Grace Archbishop Reginald Halse on June 8, 1951. Other clergy present were Archdeacon Birch, the Rev. G.A. Lupton, Rector of Millmerran.

Lester William Grayson trained at St Francis’ College, Milton. and was Priested in1944. He served in Ipswich 1944/5, Hamilton 1945/6, Bush Brotherhood of St Paul 1946-50, was Hon. Mission Chaplain from 1950 (on leave) at Killarney and in 1951 he went to Chermside. In 1961 he transferred to Maryborough.

1956: Fr Chum Grayson in front of church
1956: Fr Chum Grayson in front of All Saints' - the porch was added in 1927

Val Kerr remembers him as a great organiser at a time when All Saints’ needed such a man. Under his direction the parish grew in numbers and geographically, matching the growth of the district. He was a kindly, friendly man, very much in the mould of the priest of that time.

All Saints’ had, at last, a resident pastor. The daughter churches of All Saints’ at the time were St Matthias’ Zillmere, St George’s Bald Hills and, the as yet unnamed one at Geebung.

Since he was the only priest in the area he had a very busy Sunday morning schedule celebrating Holy Communion services. He started at Geebung at 7am, on to All Saints’ at 8am, then to Zillmere at 9.30 and finally Bald Hills at 10.30am. 7.30pm Evensong at All Saints’ completed the day, unless he had a meeting after. He had his own car.

The first Pew Bulletin for the new parochial district of Chermside was issued in June 1951. In it Fr Grayson said that Sunday April 22 was a “Red Letter Day” for the new district, because after Evensong on that day the first Easter Vestry meeting was held. This was henceforward the annual meeting at which the appointment and election of parish officials, all male, as it remained for many years, was held.

The First Parish Council

At the first Annual Meeting the following were elected:
Churchwardens: C.D. Spry and L.C. Neal.
Synodsmen: T.J. Petersen, K.G. Pollard
Parochial Councillors: Messrs. C. Stewart, B. Fallis, F. White, E. Bagley, H. Clark, R Bertwistle, K.G. Pollard.
The first Parish Council meeting was held on 2/5/1951.

There were no Parochial Nominators since there was only a Vicar who was appointed by the Archbishop. Nominators were not needed till All Saints’ was made a parish with its own Rector.

A New Vicarage was built in the church grounds at a cost of ₤1,627/7/9 ($46,550 in 2001 values) by a builder, Mr Chapman. In the minutes of 20/5/1951 the contract price was ₤1,587 but at a later meeting on 11/7/1951 it was recorded that an extra room for a study was to be added. No mention of cost was made. This could account for the difference between the two prices above - ₤40.

A parishioner, Mr Bertwhistle offered to do the exterior, and at a later meeting, the interior painting. While the vicarage was being built Fr Grayson was living at View St, Chermside, a short walk from All Saints’.

The dedication and opening by Archbishop Reginald Halse was on Saturday 18 August 1951. This building was added to, and later moved behind the church. It is now the parish centre.

The Bald Hills centre of St George’s came into the parochial district on Sunday April 1, 1951. On Friday evening, April 20, in the local hall farewells were made to Canon WPB Miles and a warm welcome was extended to the new Vicar, the Rev LW Grayson.

In Aspley, a Sunday School with over 30 children was formed with Mrs Nutt as Superintendent and Miss D. Clark as an assistant. By December 14, 1952 services were arranged in the Aspley Assembly Hall, which was purchased in January 1953 for ($16,000 in 2001 values) and became St Paul’s.

Outreach to daughter Churches such as this meant that there was not so much to be spent on All Saints’ itself but it was all part of spreading the Good News. There would be much more of this type of expenditure in the coming years.

Social Life at All Saints' in the 1950s

While the formal organisation of the district was developing the community was busy with many other activities. Some of these were associated with fund raising, some not, but all were aimed at having an enjoyable time.

A memorable annual event was Guy Fawkes night. A local milk vendor Mr Basnett who lived in Chermside used to have a traditional bonfire to celebrate Cracker Night. It was attended by many people; every one likes a bonfire especially the children, of all ages.
The minute books regularly record such activities as:

Fetes with numerous stalls and entertainment venues, usually held in the Church grounds;

Dances held in the local School of Arts and, later in the Parish Hall. Square dancing was popular at one time and one dance was cancelled because it was to be held on the same day as the funeral of King George VI;

Parish and Sunday School Picnics held in Marchant Park and, later, a train was hired and the community went off to some distant venue;

Flower Shows (Monster) were a regular draw card, Afternoon Teas and Dinners with the ladies doing the cooking and then paying to come to help eat the products;

1950: Fancy Dress in School of Arts
1950: Fancy Dress in School of Arts. Front: Bev Burnett (lee), K Sinclair, Alma Burnett. Back: P Moreton, Ray Spry, Brian Spry

Fancy Dress Balls, Ordinary Balls, Mock Deb Balls where the men dressed as women and the women as men, a regular cross dressing event. The men in make-up must have looked a treat, especially if they had a five o’clock shadow. Some of the women sported moustaches;

1952: Mock Deb Ball
1952: Mock Deb Ball - boys and girls change places. Fr Grayson in normal suit.

All Saints’ Indoor Bowls Club was formed in 1956 and was mentioned in the minutes. The first mention of a Social Committee was in 1957 which arranged the screening of Fact and Faith films at Evensong Services once a month;

Added to this list was the constant working bees that did much of the unpaid work around the Church and saved the community a huge amount of money. Although they took up time they could be very social events. They covered everything from painting the fence, cleaning up the yard, getting the starlings out of the church roof, wiring up the electrical circuits, draining the storm water, etc. etc. etc.

While the above may sound somewhat like the ‘good old days’ outlook, other factors were at work to produce a mixture of reactions. Some welcome and some not so welcome. One was that during the 1950s the effects of change due to what later came to be called ‘the consumer revolution’ were starting to be felt. The USA had already experienced this phenomenon as early as the 1920s, Australia was catching up.

A USA survey done in the mid 1920s at the beginning of the automobile age reported:

Cars, movies, and the radio had completely changed leisure time. The passion with which the car was received was extraordinary. Families in Middletown told the Lynds that they would forgo clothes to buy a car. Many preferred to win a car rather than a bathtub. Many said the car held the family together. On the other hand, the ‘Sunday Drive’ was hurting church attendance.
The youth, and many older people were beginning to drift away from Church activities as attitudes changed. The motor car made people much more mobile and no longer confined to the small local area. People had more choice of activities and these were replacing the Church. The Churches did not have an answer to the problem. In fact the problem grew with the advent of television.

Meanwhile the development of the buildings at All Saints’ went ahead. An ex-Army Hut which had been used as temporary Housing Commission living units in the Corrie Street area was purchased. It was transported to the Church site for use as a hall. It wasn’t the best hall in Chermside but for ₤285 ($7,000 in 2001 values) it wasn’t a bad buy in Dec 1952. It was installed on the vacant area to the north of (behind) All Saints’ church and opened as a Sunday School hall in June 1953.