Hundreds turn out for church’s 150th birthday

Hundreds turn out for church’s 150th birthday


Around 300 people from all corners of Perth flocked to St Mary in the Valley on Saturday for the Kelmscott church’s 150th anniversary.

Visitors filled the pews for the special musical concert featuring Australia’s oldest pipe organ. And the morning tea was buzzing with excited conversation.

Dr Tony Buti was heckled by a kookaburra. – with Reverend Ben van der Klip.

Organisers were over the moon that the event was so well-attended, thanking the community for their support, and remarking that it was a nice reminder of the important place the church still holds in the community.

The day was adorned with serendipitous moments of connection.

Maurice Buckingham and sister Roslyn Baker (nee Buckingham) at the grave site of their great Grandparents. Roslyn gave a talk about her family history.

Members of the River Rd congregation were reunited with old friends who had since moved away.

Visitors discovered precious black and white memories of their younger selves, courtesy of the display put together by the historical society.

And one community member was able to connect with her ancestor through a recently-discovered gravesite.

Susan Milne at the recently discovered gravesite of her maternal grandfather, Ernest Gibson.

Dignitaries at the event included City of Armadale Mayor Ruth Butterfield and councillors, Robyn McSweeney MLC, Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones and Member for Armadale Dr Tony Buti – whose speech was amusingly heckled by a laughing kookaburra.

Robyn McSweeney MLC gave a talk about her family history (the Cockram family).

A “very meaningful” service was held on Sunday ministered by Bishop Kate Wilmot, and attended by a large number of people.

Organisers wished to acknowledge the efforts members of the congregation and community had put in to make the occasion such a resounding success.

Photographs – Richard Polden.

Mark Plaisted and mum Patricia Plaisted.