10 years ago
May 6, 2008.
Timmering Presbyterian Church closed its doors for the last time on Sunday.
A service was held for the last time in the church, with about 130 people, many of whom were former parishioners who have moved away or their descendants, saying their farewells.
Timmering Presbyterian church board secretary Graeme Gledhill said while Sunday was the final service for the church, it had not been used for regular services for about two years.
Mr Gledhill said the dwindling number of parishioners at the church was a sign of the times.
‘‘It’s typical of rural communities at this time,’’ he said.
‘‘The population is moving away and the the population is changing.
‘‘It (the Presbyterian church) is not as important a part of the community as it used to be.
‘‘The older people are still there, but the young people have moved on.’’
At its time of closing, Mr Gledhill said there were probably only eight or nine parishioners.
It is vastly different to its heyday, when many of the district families were Presbyterian and attended the church regularly.
The death knell started to sound for the church when the Rochester-Timmering parish’s minister moved away about two years ago.
30 years ago
An era will come to an end at Rochester Post Office soon with the retirement of Mr Joe Roberts.
Mr Roberts joined the office in 1947 as a junior postal officer and in around the 40 years that have followed he has delivered parcels and letters, has sorted mail and has delivered telegrams.
Mr Roberts has also been a common sight behind the counter and in the many years he has served Australia Post has witnessed the myriad of stamp designs and the passing parade of Her Majesty’s Mail.
Another Rochester Post Office legend, former postman Mr Bill Shaw, dropped in to see Mr Roberts yesterday morning to wish him the best in his retirement.
Mr Shaw worked at the Post Office for 20 years.
‘‘Joe helped me get the job,’’ Bill said.
‘‘Someone got sick and they asked me to relieve for a month.
‘‘I passed the exam and became a postie and I enjoyed it,’’ he said.
Mr Shaw was injured in 1985 and although Mr Shaw tried to make a comeback, retirement proved best for his health.
Mr Roberts plans to travel in his retirement and enjoy more free time with his nephews.
100 years ago
May 11, 1918
Pathetic interest is attached to the announcement that Gunner Ray Tregear, the eldest son of Chaplain-Major Charles Tregear, has been killed in action.
Major Tregear last week delivered at Rochester one of his brilliant war lectures, and he took occasion to refer affectionately and proudly to his ‘‘dear son, who was with the forces in France fighting for King, cause and country’’.
At the time he was speaking his dear lad had already ‘‘gone West’’, but his proud and happy father did not know it.
It was after he returned home that the sad news came to him that his son had been killed on the 9th April.