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Centenary Celebrations at All Souls’ Victoria Estate

13/August/2021

The charming stone church by the Victoria Estate sugar mill has been the backdrop for many a happy wedding photo, but it has a poignant history. Back in 1918, the Estate was a thriving village of workers associated with the mill. But eleven young men from there went to the war in Europe and did not come home. 

The grieving families paid a shilling weekly from their modest pay packets, sold raffle tickets and raised money to build a church on the Estate. The young men were to be remembered and honoured in this sacred space. CSR donated the grounds to the Anglican Church and the families gathered and, brick by brick, created the church. The first service was held one hundred years ago next year. 

Later, the Turkish government donated the canon to the Anglican Church as an acknowledgment of the sacrifice of the families and as a peace offering. It still stands in the grounds. 

Over the decades, the families of the young men have continued to worship at the church, there have been prayers of tears and sorrow, but also of joy at baptisms and weddings. The church is not just a memorial to the past, but also a sign of the eternal hope of the future. The families and the love have continued through the generations.

To honour the men who fell in war, and the families who have worked and prayed through the generations, the Anglican church is holding a centenary celebration in the weekend of August5/6/7 in 2022. There will be a Friday reception and drinks, a garden party on Saturday afternoon under the raintrees at All Souls, and a church service on Sunday at 9.30 am.  We are looking for descendants of the men who died in war, to gather histories and stories, and are also inviting anyone with connections to the Estate to share memories. For further information, contact Rev Rosemary Dunn on 4776 2014.

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