One vivid memory is of one church service during WW2 at a time when many ships in our convoys had been sunk and the Japanese were advancing towards Australia and Singapore had fallen. This was when the Sydney Morning Herald had maps with big arrows showing the Jap advances and little arrows showing feeble Allied counter-attacks. Even though I was only a child, I will always remember the emotional feeling in the congregation when we sang:
Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea! The other hymn…. Oh God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Still may we dwell secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defence is sure.
My other wartime memory is ringing the bell on VE Day (Tues 8 May 1945) and VJ Day (15 Aug 1945). My father gave me instructions how to peal the bells, as distinct to tolling at funerals and ordinary ringing on a Sunday service. Unfortunate that modern society does not like church bells, but in those days they were important to the Australian community!
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