1875: St John the Baptist Church, Ouse, Tasmania.

The foundation stone of St John the Baptist church at Ouse, was laid in 1842 and opened for services in 1843. No newspaper records of the time have been found to corroborate these dates but a stained glass window, erected in the liturgical south wall of the nave in 1943 commemorates the centenary of the church. The text at the base of the window has the following inscription:

“To the glory of God and in commemoration of the centenary of this church of St. John the Baptist 1843 – 1943 Erected by the parishioners”

(The window was made by the Mathieson & Gibson stained glass company of Melbourne and depicts Jesus being Baptised by St John in the river Jordan)

The oldest and most historical stained glass window in the church is the three light liturgical east window behind the altar. The window was created by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne and was erected to the memory of Thomas Lloyd Gellibrand circa 1875.

Photos taken 7th October 2010.

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Each of the three lancets in the window contains the unique Ferguson & Urie scrolling ribbon design with a piece of scripture from the the King James Bible.

Two ribbons either side of the apex of the centre light have the text “Ecce Agnus Dei ” (Behold the Lamb of God), also known as another title for Jesus. It appears in the Gospel of John 1:29, where John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

The three pieces of scripture depicted in each of the three lights of the window are:

(Matthew 5-4)

(Psalms 103-13)

(Psalms 37-4)

The Mercury, Hobart, TAS, Thursday 1st July 1943, page 5

“The centenary of the Church of St John the Baptist, Ouse, was celebrated by a service in the church on Sunday. Miss Bolland was organist. In the unavoidable absence of the rector (Rev L. L. Oldham) the service was taken by the Rev. J. W. Bethune, who preached the sermon and also spoke to the children. The preacher reminded all of their heritage and sacred associations with the church they loved, and urged them to be true to the faith of their fathers. The offerings for a special centenary commemoration exceeded £113. The following extract from “Church News” more than 50 years ago was written by the late Canon Adams, of Hagley, and authenticated by the late Mr. Bethune, of Dunrobin, the late Rev H. W. Adams, and others: “The Ouse Church was built entirely by the parishioners during the incumbency of Dr. Pogson. The land for the church and cemetery, on a gentle rise, in the midst of the township, was given by the late W. A. Bethune, Esq., of Dunrobin. The east window in St. John’s Church, Ouse, is in memory of T. L. Gellibrand, Esq., late of Lleintwardine, Ouse.”

Thomas Lloyd Gellibrand (1820-1874):

Thomas Lloyd Gellibrand, was the eldest son of Joseph Tice Gellibrand (1792-1836), the first Attorney-General of Tasmania (1825) and Isabella Kerby.
(Also see: 22-10-1864: All Saints Anglican Church, South Hobart, Tasmania, Australia).

Thomas was a grazier and landowner around Bothwell and Ouse in Tasmania and a parliamentarian. He married Isabella Brown, on the 1st of December 1860 at All Saints Anglican Church in South Hobart[1]. He was a member of the House of Assembly in 1856-61[2] and appointed as Captain in the ‘Third Rifles” Southern Tasmanian Volunteers in 1861[3]. He died at his house ‘Vaucluse’ in Macquarie street Hobart on the 9th November 1874 aged 53[4]. His funeral took place on the 12th:

“…The remains of the late Mr. T. L. Gellibrand were yesterday morning conveyed on board the steamer Enterprise, which vessel afterwards left for South Arm, where the family vault is situated. The relatives, and a large number of friends of the deceased proceeded by the steamer. Throughout the day the vessels in harbour lowered their flags to half mast, out of respect to the memory of the deceased gentleman.” [5]

His wife Isabella later married Dr. Edward Clayton Ling (1844-1882)[6] in Suffolk in December 1876. She died in Sussex, England, on the 11th March 1907 aged 67[7].

The Mercury, Hobart, TAS, Wednesday 11th November 1874, page 2.

“Thomas Lloyd Gellibrand, son of Joseph Tice Gellibrand, Attorney-General of Tasmania, in 1856,(sic:1825[8]) who was removed from office by Governor Arthur on charges made against him by persons who have been since convicted of swindling, robbery of the Government, and murder. Mr. Thomas Gellibrand was born in 1821 and educated at Thompsons Academy in Melville-street. In 1848 Sir H. Dennison placed the young colonist who had commenced farming on his own account in the Hamilton district, in the Commission of the Peace, and here on the banks of the Dee, Mr. Gellibrand formed an extensive sheep farm. In Sept. 1856 he was elected a Member of the first House of Assembly for the district of Cumberland, in which he resided and sat in the House an useful active member till the dissolution of the House in 1861. In I860 Session he saw the necessity of protecting the game of his native country, and brought in the first Bill which became law on the subject and which is still in force. He married a daughter of Mr. Thomas Brown the well-known merchant of the New Wharf, and has several children, the youngest being only a few weeks old. His wife’s brother’s death by accident occurred on tho 5th inst[9]., and whilst mourning the death of a favourite brother, Mrs. Gellibrand has now to mourn the death of a husband. To Mr. Thos. Gellibrand the inhabitants of the Bothwell and Hamilton Districts are indebted for the security of the water supply of the Clyde River, which it is well-known rises in the Lakes Crescent and Sorell and which in l856-7, he took great pains to legislate for. Useful colonists of this type, educated, active, zealous men, always eager to push on the latent resources of the colony are fast fading away. Day after day has the record of the loss of one after another; whilst their places, which should be filled by their sons or relatives, are either vacant, by the emigration of those who should fill them, to other lands, where they are more highly appreciated, and much more highly remunerated. An active magistrate – a good master – a kind father and husband – Mr. Thomas Gellibrand has gone to the fullness of repose.”

One of his sons was Sir John Gellibrand (1872-1945) (Major General Sir John Gellibrand, K.C.B., D.S.O) He was was highly decorated in WW1, promoted to Major General circa 1918, appointed as Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria in 1920 to 1922, elected to the House of Representatives in 1925 and was a founding member of the organisation now known as ‘Legacy’. He died at his property at Murrindindi in 1945 and is buried in the Yea cemetery in Victoria.


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