Ch.14 – The Rev. Harry Taylor

Anglican Church Glen Innes

In 1969 Glen Innes welcomed the Rev. Harry Taylor, wife Daphne and family with Father Peter Lockyer as his assistant.

In that year a move to sub-divide the land owned by Holy Trinity from the Vicarage garden north was finally approved when the Diocese gave a special ruling.  Permission of the sale was granted on the condition that funds realised from the sale of the three blocks, two in Mann’s Lane and one in Macquarie Street, were to be invested and not used for church funds. The interest could be used as the Parish Council saw fit.  A great deal of preparation was required for the land to become saleable, as it was heavily overgrown with elm trees and undergrowth.  In early 1971 the blocks were auctioned.  Mr Frank Simes purchased two blocks for $800 each.  The land in Macquarie Street was purchased by Mr Ivan Dowsley.

At the cost of $1 259.50, a damaged wall of the Bell Tower was repaired in 1970. The local contractors were Sully and Ford.  It had not been considered safe to ring the bell for some 10 years but it rang for the Christmas service in 1970 and has been operative ever since. Some 30 years later D. McCartney & Co did further maintenance.

New pews were installed in the Church in 1971 and were made available for memorial subscriptions at the cost of $100 each. The existing, cedar pews were auctioned to help with the cost of the new pews. A list of the donors appears at the end of the book. The Rev. Harry Taylor’s nickname was  “Harry the Builder” and in 1972 the church was re-roofed and new carpet laid in the Church. The old iron roof was replaced with a colorbond one by contractor Hardy Marr for $6 000. While removing the old iron, the shingles on the first part of the church placed by a Mr Winstanley were also removed.

The Rev. Harry Taylor was the first Police Chaplain to be appointed in Glen Innes. In later years the Rev. Grant Bell and the Rev. Andrew Newman followed suit. The Rev. Harry Taylor was highly respected, being awarded a citation from the Police Commissioner for work in helping juveniles and for the support that he gave the police.

Over the western door entrance of the Church a mosaic tiled artwork designed by Mrs Taylor was dedicated to the Kiehne Family. The mosaic lasted for many years but unfortunately the harsh New England weather caused its deterioration and an iron cross was substituted for it in 1985.  The Society of St. Anne began during Mrs Daphne Taylor’s time.  It was a social club for young married women and there were ten to fifteen members in the group under the guidance of Mrs Beverley Watson as its president. It wound up in the late 1970’s.

In December 1972 Father Michael (Maikalia Radua) from Polynesia was appointed as assistant to the Rev. Harry Taylor. After he left Sister Josie Leslie from the Church Army spent several months assisting the Rev. Harry Taylor during 1974.

In January 1973, Mr O’Dell had a circular garden built in the centre of the church grounds as a memorial to his wife.  Carpet was laid for the Sanctuary, Chancel and steps in August 1973.  New collection plates were donated in the following year by Mr. W .B. Hughes, also a communion vessel dedicated to the memory Mr H. R. St. Clair Hughes by his family

The Rev. H. Taylor was determined to upgrade the old Hall. On stripping down the walls it was found that age had caught up with the building and that a new construction was needed.  From the old building only the floorboards were salvaged.  Steel framework  replaced the old timber framework. The shape of the Hall was altered to fit the contours of the block. The kitchen in the old building was quite large and extended well out onto Mann’s Lane. The changes can be seen today by the different level between the kitchen and the hall floor, necessitating a step.

The old Parish Hall was eventually demolished late in 1976.  It had been transported to Mann’s Lane in the early days from its site in Wentworth Street. Once it had been a multi functioning hall used for worship by different congregations and lodges. It was then called the Union Church.  The Church of England acquired the building and moved it. When relocated the building stood on the present site of the current Parish Hall.  In the old building the front entrance faced Meade Street and the hall positioned north to south.

The front façade was constructed of brick. Buttresses supported the front of the building and there was a prominent entrance.  The main part was constructed of timber with an iron roof. Indeed it was an  impressive building.

A plaque bearing an inscription:  “An appreciation to Mr William Bujah, a generous Roman Catholic gentleman”  was removed when the hall was demolished.   However, this plaque has been preserved and can now be found in the church crypt.  It is believed that this gentleman financed the transfer of the building and its re-siting at Mann’s Lane. Generations have benefited from his kind action.

As finance was required for the construction of a new building a fund raising activity were initiated. Mrs Daphne Taylor produced the musical  ‘Aladdin’, in the old Hall.  Proceeds from this production started the ball rolling.  It proved very popular and ran for three nights.

Later in 1974 the Rev. Harry Taylor and his wife, Daphne and family, left to take up an appointment at Wynnum/Manly, in the Brisbane Diocese. At that time there were 12,333 communicants recorded for the year at Holy Trinity.