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: joyolney@gmail.com


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