1870: St Paul’s Anglican Church, Koroit, Victoria.

The foundation stone of St Paul’s Anglican Church at Koroit was laid on the 8th of March 1870 and it contains a Ferguson & Urie three light memorial window in the chancel erected to the memory of Mary, the wife of the first minister of the church, the Rev. Louis A. Baker.

Photos taken: 7th January 2011.

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The Bacchus Marsh Express, Vic, Saturday 20th April 1889, page 7.

(on the minister, Rev. Louis A. Baker).

…For many years he officiated in the district surrounding Koroit, between Belfast and Warnambool, where he was much beloved  and valued, his name being a household word in that locality to the present day. A stained chancel window in the church, put up to the memory of his first wife, is a lasting memento of the kindly feelings of the people towards himself.”

The three light chancel window was created by Ferguson & Urie of Melbourne, possibly about the time of the churches erection in 1870. The borders of the windows are made up of alternating pieces of stained glass in the primary colours of red and blue with a yellow flower. which are unique to early Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows. In the centre light is a ruby red cross and a gold crown which are entwined by a ribbon that has the text: “I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH” (Job 19-25).

The remainder of the windows are made up of plain diamond quarries and nine groups of four diamond quarries depicting elements of the passion flower in grey and yellow with a surrounding red or pink border.

The memorial text across the bottom of the three lights reads:

“IN MEMORY OF MARY, WIFE OF THE REVD. LOUIS A. BAKER FIRST MINISTER OF THIS CHURCH. DIED 8th APRIL 1865”

The Rev Louis A. Baker, died at the age of 76 on the 13th of April 1889 of Typhoid.

About fifty years after the erection of the window it was subject to vandalism by known delinquents. The extent of the damage at the time is not known, nor who may have made the necessary repairs circa 1914.

Warrnambool Standard, Vic, Thursday, 2nd April 1914, page 2.

“VANDELISM AT KOROIT”.

“There is a set of three beautiful memorial windows at the east end of St. Paul’s Church, Koroit, which were erected to the memory of Mrs. Baker, the wife of the Rev. L. Baker, who was a former incumbent of the church (writes our Koroit correspondent). Last Sunday week the Vicar’s attention was drawn to the fact that four holes had been made in these windows by stone throwing, and last Sunday a number of holes were discovered in the west windows, which consist of small diamond shaped leaded panes. The matter has been placed in the hands of the police, and as it is stated the delinquents are known, a prosecution will shortly follow.”

The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Wednesday 9th March 1870, page 5.

“WARRNAMBOOL, Tuesday.

The Bishop of Melbourne laid the foundation stone of St. Paul’s Church, Koroit, today, assisted by the Rev’s. Messrs. Baker and Beamish. There was a good attendance of spectators, many of whom came from a considerable distance. The contributions were liberal, and the ceremony was completely successful. It will be a stone building, in the early English style of Gothic architecture, after designs drawn by Mr. Rawlinson, the architect.”

Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Friday 25th March 1870, page 2.

“A SACRILEGIOUS THIEF.- Some mischievous fellow has had the audacity to remove the foundation stone of St. Paul’s Church, Koroit, recently laid by the Bishop of Melbourne. This occurred on the morning of Friday last, when it was discovered that the stone had been removed, the cavity opened, the bottle extracted, and the contents, namely, the scroll and newspapers, cast on one side. These are now in the possession of the trustees. It was thought by some (states the Warrnambool Advertiser) to be either a malicious act, or one committed during a drunken bout; but the officers of the church believe that it was done by a loafing scoundrel who hoped to find some coins deposited in the bottle under the stone, but who had his trouble for nothing.”

Kilmore Free Press, Vic, Thursday 29th December 1870, page 2.

“A DISGRCEFUL SCENE IN A CHURCH;

[From the Banner of Belfast.]

On Tuesday last the building committee of the Presbyterian Church at Koroit held a meeting to consider tenders for the erection of a new church, there being present amongst others the Rev Mr. Adams, Mr Officer (mayor), and a Mr. Wilson. Mr Officer, in a fiery oration, objected to the acceptance of tenders, reviewing the impecunious condition of the district, and considering that the necessary funds could not be raised. The Rev Mr Adams, in reply to the mayor, said that some of his (the mayor’s) statements were true, and some were not true. This brought the mayor to his legs. He demanded of the Rev Mr Adams to know which of his statements were untrue; he would not submit to be called a liar, and in a very intemperate speech, in which he was frequently called to order, assailed the Rev Mr Adams, Mr Wilson, and by implication other members of the congregation. Mr Wilson, with some warmth, defended the Rev Mr Adams. He repelled the mayor’s assertions generally, and retorted with some effect on his exaggerated notions of his own importance. On this the mayor dashed his hat aside, and jumping over the seats laid violent hold of Mr Wilson by the neck with both hands, Mr Wilson making such effective resistance as he was able, and using such force and violence as he was justified in using under the circumstances. The mayor’s object was apparently to have the fight outside the church, but it was precipitated by his violence, and his mayoral dignity, unrespected by himself, was not sufficient to protect him from the hands of Wilson, or from a severe hauling from other members of committee who naturally felt indignant at the desecration of the church, and endeavored to separate the combatants before much damage was done to either, or many blows exchanged. The committee of course adjourned, and the Rev Mr Adams intimated his intention of resigning, and bringing under notice of the congregation from the pulpit the indignity to which he and the other members of the committee were subjected by the ruffianly conduct of he mayor. The feeling in Koroit, and especially among the Presbyterian body, is, as may be determined, one of a mitigated disgust at the conduct of one who has brought so much disgrace on them. Mr Wilson intends to take out a summons for assault against the Mayor”.

 

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