Friday, 31 August 2012

Diary Summaries 1942-48 Brighton

1st grandchild baptised Winifred Joy Petfield 21 November 1943 at Brighton
Macdougall's retirement home at 20 Comer Street, East Brighton 17 April 1945

Macdougalls, Fraser family with Grandma Wells at Brighton on 25 October 1947

Macdougalls, Petfields and Grandma Wells at Brighton on 25 October 1947

If you have any corrections or comments please contact the author Joy Olney (grand-daughter of Leslie Macdougall) via email:

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Biography of Rev. Leslie S.Macdougall

Biography of Leslie Stuart Macdougall

Written by his daughter Winsome L.Petfield

On 4 March 1877, Leslie Stuart Macdougall was born in Hobart, Tasmania to Mr. & Mrs.W.A. Macdougall.

At an early age he moved with his parents to Launceston where he was educated.  Here he attended the Paterson Street Methodist Sunday School with his school boy pal and life long friend, Charles Dugan.  At the age of 11 years he commenced at the Launceston High School and three years later passed his Junior Public Examination of the University of Tasmania.  On Saturday morning 12 March 1892 (at 11am) he was converted while being in conversation with Mr.W.G.Edmunds - Master at the High School.  In 1894 he passed his Senior Public Examination - thus Matriculating.  The years 1895 - 1896 were spent at the University of Tasmania, Launceston Campus.

1897 - 1899 Leslie was tutor to the four sons of Mr.Louis Shoobridge "The Forest", Bushy Park (Derwent Valley).  In October 1899 he became a Home Missionary at Oatlands, Tasmania.  He was appointed as a Resident Master at Leslie House School (now known as Clemes College, Hobart) in October 1900 and here he remained until he went into the ministry.  Throughout his lifetime he retained his interest in the higher fields of learning as student and tutor.

In 1902 as a candidate for the Ministry of the Methodist Church, he entered the Theological Institution of Queen's College (University of Melbourne) to pursue his studies.  As a student preacher he spent his long vacations doing locum work at Stanley, Tasmania (1902), Nagambie, Victoria (1903), Mathinna, Tasmania (1904).

Leslie S.Macdougall 24 April 1905

After three years at Queen's College, his first Probation appointment was at Dumbalk and Meeniyan, Gippsland, Victoria (1905 - 1906).  Other probationary appointments were at Neerim, Victoria (1907), Berringa and Kaleno, Victoria (1908) and South Preston, Melbourne (1909).

Leslie S.Macdougall 23 July 1909

On 9 March 1910 he was ordained at the conference of the Victorian and Tasmanian Methodist Church under the Presidency of the Rev.Jonathan P.McCann.  His appointments after ordination were at Queenstown, Tasmania where he remained for two years and thence to New Norfolk, Tasmania.

On 9 September 1912 at Hobart he was married by the Rev.L.E.Bennett to Miss.Beatrice Wells, elder daughter of Mr.H.E.Wells, the then Station Master of Hobart.
During his three years ministry at New Norfolk, his eldest daughter Winsome was born.  The next appointment was to Westbury and after three years there he moved to Penguin.  Whilst stationed there a further three year period, he gained his Master of Arts Degree and his second and third daughters, Dorothy and Margaret were born.  This was his last appointment in the Apple Isle.

Rev.L.S.Macdougall B.A.20 April 1918

 He was then appointed to the following circuits in Victoria - Euroa (3 years), Skipton Street, Ballarat (5 years), Peace Memorial East Malvern (4 years), Coburg (4 years), Williamstown (5 years), and New Street, Brighton (3 years).

His retirement as a Supernumerary Minister took place in 1945 at the completion of his term at Brighton.  The four years of retirement were spent at his home at 20 Comer Street, East Brighton.

He attained his M.A.Degree with first class final honours in English Literature and graduated to Divinity amid the distractions of counrty circuits and without tutorial assistance or access to Metropolitan Libraries.

We was well versed in Classical English, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, German, Anglo-Saxon, Esperanto and Gaelic.  His latter tutorials at Queen's College (University of Melbourne), "Otira" Home Missionary Training College, Brighton Grammar School and Haileybury College included English Literature, New Testament Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Church History.

He was a foundation member and Secretary of the Ballarat Gaelic Circle.

For many years he interested himself in the Royal Australian Navy, having been gazetted Naval Reserve Chaplain whilst stationed at Williamstown.  During the 1939 - 1945 War he was appointed by the Presendent General to be Methodist Naval Representative for Australasia and was responsible for the appointments in collaboration with the Navy Department of the Methodist Naval Chaplains.

Those who knew him would agree that it would not be an overstatement to say in the broadest terms that he was untiring, painstaking and methodical in all his work.  His attention to detail in all circuit administration, his planned approach to all matter of scholarship, preaching and teaching have been matters to marvel at.

Rev.L.S.Macdougall August 1937

 During his ministry at Brighton he was called upon to bear the beginning of the malady, which despite the treatment he received and the operation he withstood, finally took its toll.  For almost the last five years he had to wear his arm in a sling following a pathological fracture of the upper arm.  With stoical resistance he fought against the effects of the distracting pains.  With determination he continued his work with which was interspersed with long periods of treatment which involved daily visits to hospital for periods of ten weeks at a time. During this period he continued his lectures at Queen's College, Brighton Grammar School and Haileybury College learning to write with his left hand.

Knowing all the time that someday he would probably permanently lose the use of his right arm, he prepared his notes on lectures two years in advance.  He never accepted defeat and all his plans were made with confidence in his ability to meet his commitments for the future.

In July 1948 Leslie entered the Royal Melbourne Hospital where under the expert surgery and care of Doctors and Nurses, his right arm and shoulder were amputated successfully.

Within six weeks he was again in his place at Haileybury College tutoring his boys whom he felt he had failed by the intermission of his operation.  He continued both at Haileybury and Queen's College until the end of the college year, his work complete, and his duty discharged.

During the second week in November, his physical endurance heavily taxed as a result of the effects of the operation and subsequent treatment, he again entered the Royal Melbourne Hospital for further treatment.

He returned to his home on 15 January, where the heavy load of caring for her afflicted husband was borne unflinchingly by his life partner. Every day until the last, he endevoured to make her burden lighter.  With loving care Beatrice was alone with Leslie when he entered into the presence of God and saw his Master face to face at 2.40pm on 8 February 1949.

According to records kept by him, Leslie Stuart Macdougall preached in the vicinity of 6000 sermons and officiated at 797 baptisms.

Winsome L.Petfield.

I have compiled a 10GB presentation on the life of Rev.Leslie S.Macdougall - far too big for a blog! This presentation includes each diary from 1895 - 1948 (over 15,000 pages), written with great detail and gives insight into the life of a Methodist minister in Tasmania and Victoria over a 53 year period. Included in the diaries is a cash reconciliation of family finances each year, charts, newspaper clippings and family photographs. An extensive summary of each year helps the reader see at a glance a busy life, totally commited to his work (48 pages). The Baptism Register records the family details of the 797 babies he baptised (54 pages). A ledger of preaching appointments records the date, location, Old and New Testament readings, children's address, hymns, collection, number present (220 pages). Love letters of Leslie and Beatrice are also interesting reading (81 pages), family photographs (23 pages).

Beatrice wrote a diary from 1953 - 1978, mainly about family, gardening and Church activities (1200 pages), family photographs (28 pages) and summary of each year (19 pages).

For your very own unique piece of history a 16 GB USB is available by contacting Joy Olney via email: 


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Epilogue on the life of Rev. Leslie S.Macdougall

Epilogue on the life of Leslie Stuart Macdougall

 written by his son-in-law Allan E.Petfield after the Funeral.

In the year 1895 and everyday from that day on (except for the last few weeks prior to his parting)
Leslie Stuart Macdougall kept a diary.  It therefore appears to be fitting to bring to a close this 
chapter of this record.

This tenth day of February 1949 was for me the saddest day of my life.  However, it will bring to my memory, not for the sadness, but for the tender and beautiful memories of a gracious and loving father, a wise counselor and a true friend.

Two days prior to this death - at 2.40pm on the eighth of February, he reached the promised land of peace where there is no more pain.

During his earthly pilgrimage as a minister of the Methodist Church and a devout follower of his Master, he had not neglected to do whatever good he could, lest he did not pass by that way again.  In every sphere of his activity as a husband, father, pastor, preacher, tutor and friend, he has built up unbounded treasures of goodwill which were reflected in the messages of sympathy reaching the bereft family circle from many parts of Victoria and Interstate.

At 9.15am on the tenth of February, his loved wife and family met at 20 Comer Street, East Brighton, prior to the service at the New Street, Brighton Methodist Church where he had so often taught and exhorted.

The beauty and the perfume of the flowers that carpeted the floor of the lounge served to remind us at once of the fragility and beauty of the earthly house of the soul that is born of God.  Though sadness brought some tears, the underlying confidence in the mercy of the Divine Providence brought a large measure of composure to us all.

At the Church where the final tributes were paid to the life of the one whom we mourned, the casket was surrounded by many wreaths of beautiful flowere which again bespoke of the love and care of God.  Tributes to his work as a minister, tutor and friend were paid by Rev.H.Stiles Heath at a service conducted by the ex President of the Conference, Rev.F.T.Cleverdon, in the absence of the President, Rev.G.Calvert Barber, M.A., B.D., Ph.D., who was in Sydney.  Others who took part in the service were Rev.W.J.Williams, Secretary of the Conference and Chairman of the District, and Rev.L.I.Perkins, and the hymns sung were Nos.818 and 832.  Rev.K.C.W.Beckett (cousin) sat with the chief mourners.

Amongst those present at the church were a number of ministers, probationers and students of Queen's College.  Some of those noticed include - Professor A.E.Albiston, K.Beckett, W.Beckett,  G.Beckett, Mausley Bennett, Irving Benson, F.F.Byatt, Spencer Churchward, F.T.Clevedon, E.K.Ditterich, W.H.Guard, H.Stiles Heath, W.J.Hunkin, K.Leigh, D.Lewis, E.H.O.Nye, T.M.O'Connor, H.Perkins, L.I.Perkins, H.P.Phillips, L.S.Saunders, W.Seamer, A.Nineer, W.J.Williams, F.V.Winn, P.St.J.Wilson (Brighton Grammar School) and Archdeacon Hancock.

His sons-in-law followed the herse to the Springvale Crematorium where the Revs.W.J.Williams, L.I.Perkins and Mausley Bennett officiated at the service in the Chapel.  Here the casket which contained the mortal remains of the life we loved was committed to the purifying flames but the memory of his pure, gracious life lives on.

In the meantime, the other members of the family had returned to Comer Street to read again the many letters, cards and telegrams of sympathy which had arrived.  In the afternoon, we all went by car to the Crematorium to see the Chapel where the service was conducted earlier in the day and all the floral tributes.  After photographing these we removed the cards and a list of the senders is appendided in the book.

Allan E.Petfield

Floral tributes at Springvale Crematorium 10 February 1949

Beatrice Macdougall, widow of Leslie Macdougall at Springvale Crematorium

I have compiled a 10 GB presentation on the life of Rev.Leslie S.Macdougall - far too big for a blog!  The presentation includes every diary from 1895 - 1948 (over 15,000 pages).  Included in the diaries are cash reconciliations of his family finances, charts, newspaper clippings, and family photographs. His Baptismal Register with details of the 797 babies he baptised from 1899 to 1948 is valuable information.  His ledger of every preaching appointment over 53 years shows how much he attended to detail (220 pages). Love letters and how a romantic man expresses himself is beautiful reading (81 pages).  A summary of each years activities gives great insight into a busy life of a man dedicated to serving his Lord (48 pages), and family photographs (23 pages).

His wife Beatrice also wrote a diary from 1953 - 1978, mainly about family, gardening and Church activities (1200 pages), family photos (28 pages) and summary of diaries (19 pages).

Should you wish to have your very own piece of history a 16 GB USB is available by contacting Joy Olney via email: