“THE OPENING OF THE NEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, BALLAN”.
“SABBATH last brought with it the long-looked-for day of opening of this beautiful Church. The new building is, perhaps, the most prominent, as it is certainly the finest erection in this rising township. The style of architecture is modern Gothic. The building is of bluestone rubble, every alternate stone having a four inch sneck, and is neatly tuck-pointed. It stands on a base two feet high, while the outer walls are supported by twenty abutments of freestone, with small bluestone snecks let in, and finished at the tops with two weatherings. The fine large window in front of the edifice consists of freestone reveals and arches, and is divided by two mullions nine feet high, being finished in the same way both externally and internally. There are also eleven other windows, while the whole is surmounted by an exceedingly chaste spire, which rises to a considerable height. The spire is likewise built of mixed blue and freestone, which is carried up sixteen feet square, at which point commences an octagon tower, perforated with eight windows four feet high, the interior of which forms the bell-tower. Immediately above the bell-tower stands a circle of freestone moulding, which is destined to receive a very handsome clock. Attached to the main building is a vestry, divided into two rooms, the whole edifice being finished by a freestone water-table. The building occupies a commanding situation, and the effect is altogether very pleasing, as the eye first rests upon it. Unlike many colonial buildings, whether public or private, the new church will bear the closest scrutiny. The grounds have been securely and handsomely fenced in, while great taste and skill have been displayed in laying them out, and planting them with choice trees. The same care and taste which is visible in the exterior of the building, is observable in the furnishing and decorating of the interior. Here all is comfort and elegance. On entering, the first thing which strikes the eye is the highly-elaborate way in which the windows have been filled in with stained glass. They were furnished by Messrs. Fergusson [sic] and Urie, of North Melbourne. With one exception, we question if any building in the colony, whether ecclesiastical or otherwise, will compare in this respect with the new Church in Ballan. The large triple window in front is exceedingly rich, and is the gift of three ladies belonging to the congregation – Mrs. Dugald McPherson of Bungeeltap, Mrs. Peter Inglis of Ingliston, and Mrs. John Edols of Mount Dariwell. The pulpit is of red cedar, elaborately carved, and is surrounded by a rail, supported on twisted pillars, within which stands the desk and chair for use of the precentor. The church is lighted by two bronze chandeliers suspended from the lofty arched ceiling, each bearing four large lights. But to realise the beauty and effect of the whole, one must be present when the noonday sun is streaming through the large triple window which faces the pulpit; then the various windows are seen in all their exquisite beauty of finish and colour. Of course the finest of all is the centre-piece of the large centre window. On an Egyptian scroll which winds round the delicate tendrils of the red rose of Albion, so much celebrated and esteemed by the crusaders of the Holy Wars, there is inscribed these appropriate words of Holy Writ, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” We may notice, as a matter of paramount importance in a building designed for public worship, that its acoustic properties are perfect. It is seldom that so complete a public building is seen, and too high praise cannot be accorded to the Presbyterians of Ballan for the spirit and liberality which they have manifested in this undertaking. To the ladies who throughout have manifested such an unwearied interest, great praise is due. It is, perhaps, slightly invidious to mention further any names, where so many have been characterised by such activity and generosity, but we think that all will unite with us in testifying to the special liberality and zeal displayed by the following gentlemen:- Dugald McPherson, Esq., J.P., whose munificence has been of a princely nature, and to whom, more than all others, the Presbyterians in Ballan are indebted for this truly handsome erection; Peter Inglis, Esq., J.P., who from the first has shown the warmest interest in the undertaking, and who, we believe, was the first to head the list with a subscription of £100; Walter Duncan, Esq., J.P., who has been the friend and treasurer of the congregation from the beginning of its history. It is exceedingly gratifying and hopeful to see gentlemen of high character and social standing identifying themselves with the cause, as these and others like them are doing.”
Photos taken: 29th December 2010.
The memorial text at the base of the liturgical west three light window has the names of each of the donors:
“Ye gift of Mrs John Edols AD 1866″ | “Ye gift of Mrs Dugald Macpherson AD 1866″ | “Ye gift of Mrs Peter Inglis AD 1866″
Mrs John Edols (Margaret, nee Brown) was the wife of John Edols Esq., of Dariwell Park, John was appointed as a trustee of the Ballan Race track and recreational reserve in July 1860, along with Dugald MacPherson and others and also acted as a steward at the Ballan racing events. Margaret died at “Ingliston” on the 17th of September 1872 and was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery on the 19th of September 1872 . (there is no known gravestone recorded). John Edols left the Ballan area circa 1888 and died at “Bryan O’Lynn”, near Warrnambool on the 28th December 1888  He was buried at the Tower Hill Cemetery (a gravestone still exists).
Mrs Dugald MacPherson was Mary Elizabeth MacPherson (nee O’Cock), wife of Ballan Councillor Dugald Macpherson (1820-1901) of Bungeeltap. She died at ‘Bungeeltap-house’ at Ballan in August 1916 and was buried at the Ballan New Cemetery on Wednesday 16th August 1916. Dugald MacPherson died at Bungeeltap, Ballan, on the 20th of October 1901 aged 81  . The Macpherson family grave still exists at the Ballan cemetery but the memorial writing is nearly impossible to read.
Museum Victoria: Dugald Macpherson (1820-1901)
“The late Mrs Macpherson, of Bangeeltap, whose death was reported in last week’s Adverister, was a native of Exeter, England, and a daughter of the late Mr Richard Ocock, solicitor, Ballan. She was married at St Kilda in 1852, and spent the first 2 years of her married life in the Wimmera, and was the first white woman to go to that part of Victoria, which was then inhabited by aboriginies. In 1854, Mr Macpherson, (who died 16 years ago) having purchased Bangeeltap [sic], Mrs Macpherson went there to live, where she resided till her death. Eight sons and five daughters were born at Bangeeltap. During her 62 years residence at Bangeeltap Mrs Macpherson had many and varied experiences, one of which was a corroboree amongst the blacks, which she witnessed. She was one of the first members of the Ballan Presbyterian church, laid the foundation stone, presented a large window, and with her husband was a most liberal supporter for many years. The Rev E. J. Welsh conducted an In Memoriam service in the church on Sunday last. The service was largely attended by many friends of the deceased lady”.
Note: Her mother, Rebecca Mary O’Cock, also has a stained glass window by the Ferguson & Urie Company which was erected in St John’s Anglican Church in Ballan in 1883.
Mrs Peter Inglis, wife of Ballarat magistrate, Peter Inglis (1796-1869, a native of Glasgow) of Ingliston, near Ballan. Peter Inglis died on the 6th of July 1869, aged 73 . There are also ‘Inglis’ streets in Ballan, Buninyong, and Warrenheip named after the family. The Inglis family memorial exists at the Ballan Cemetery but the text for Peter Inglis side of the memorial has almost faded completely.
Excerpt, HISTORY OF BALLARAT, page 6
“In the year 1843, Mr. Peter Inglis, who had a station at Ballan, took up the Warrenheip run, and shortly after that purchased the Lal Lal station, and throwing them both together, grazed on the united runs one of the largest herds in the colony. The western boundary of Mr. Inglis’ Warrenheip run marched with the eastern boundary of Mr. Yuille’s run, the line being struck by marked trees running from Mount Buninyong across Brown Hill to Slaty Creek. Mr. Donald Stewart, now of Buninyong, was stock-rider for Mr. Inglis, on the Warrenheip and Lal Lal stations, and superintendent during the minority of the present owner of Lal Lal”
Minor mention in Biography of: Archibald Fisken (1827-1907)
Obituaries for Peter Inglis.