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Bicentennial Weekend Cancelled

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It is with a sense of déjà vu that I write this…

Once again, we have been watching the evolving situation of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we are unable to meet together as we would be putting all our efforts into preparing for the weekend. We are also left with a sense of uncertainty as we are unsure what the end of lockdown will look like.

The decision has not been made lightly but with the above issues, there is no way that the planned events could continue.

We hope and pray that we can celebrate the Bicentennial of the Macquarie Schoolhouse at some point in the future.

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New date for Bicentennial Weekend

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We are very excited to announce that the Bicentennial weekend planned for last year will be going ahead this year (COVID-19 restrictions pending). This year we are combining the annual Spring Fair that is held on the grounds in September with the historical fair to have the Bicentennial Fair. This will be held on Saturday 11 September.

We are also planning a movie night for that evening, screening Amazing Grace. This is the story of William Wilberforce and the suburb of Wilberforce’s namesake.

On Sunday 12 September, we will be holding a commemorative service from 9am in the Church Hall. We will have a guest speaker for this event and will celebrate 200 years of the Macquarie Schoolhouse in Wilberforce and the many ways it has served the community in this time.

The Gow Family Gathering will also be on that day. William Gow was the first schoolmaster and his family are organising to gather his descendants together for the special occasion of the bicentennial.

We hope that as things are moving forward in our communities and living with COVID-19, that we will be able to hold these events and celebrate such an important milestone.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Bicentennial Weekend Postponed

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We, like many others, have been watching the evolving situation of COVID-19. We were hoping that we would see restrictions easing but unfortunately that has not been the case.

The decision has not been made easily but there are many issues that make the events too risky at this time. There will be lots of mingling as it is not a seated event. There are also people who were planning to travel for this event who may not be able to. These increase the risks and we cannot go ahead safely at this time.

Even though our events cannot go ahead in the year of the anniversary, we still plan to hold the events at some point in the future. We look forward to sharing the new dates with you once we’ve set it.

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The Parish Registers

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The Parish Registers hold wonderful depth of information for the Wilberforce area and the families who have their lives documented through baptisms, weddings and burials. Many Wilberforce pioneer names appear frequently throughout.

The Registers begin in 1826, prior to that these life events were recorded in the Windsor Registers.

The first Registers at St. John’s containing baptisms, marriages and burials were rebound in 1964 as a gift of Dennis Bruce Gosper in memory of his ancestors.

At the Bicentennial weekend, we intend to have an original register on display, as well as copies of all pages for families to find their relatives and research their family history.

The early volumes are now held at the Anglican Diocese archives where they are appropriately preserved for future generations. They are also available to view on microfilm at Hawkesbury Library.

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Macquarie Schoolhouse Plaques

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As with many historic buildings, the Schoolhouse is home to many plaques, to both commemorate the building itself and also remember the people involved in its history. They are a reminder of the wonderful history attached to this building.

The first plaque (above) details the building date of the Schoolhouse as well as the naming of Wilberforce. It also acknowledges the work undertaken in 1932 by the church.

The second plaque placed on the building is in memory of Edward Robert Hinder, the third schoolmaster. It gives details on his life, especially relating to the Schoolhouse. It also acknowledges his granddaughter, Eleanor Mary Hinder. This plaque was placed in 1964.

The third plaque (below) was unveiled at the 150th Anniversary of the Schoolhouse in 1970. It lists all schoolmasters and their years of service.

The final plaque acknowledges the restoration project that took place in 2000.

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Dr John Dickson – Speaking at Commemorative Service

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We are excited to announce that Dr. John Dickson, BTh, PhD, author, historian, Christian apologist, will be joining us on Sunday 4 October and speaking at our Commemorative Service. His expertise in History and his passion for sharing the gospel make him a fantastic choice for our service. To find out more about John Dickson, click here.

We hope you will come along and join us on Sunday 4 October to hear from John Dickson.

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