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: 


No comments:

Post a Comment