A Blast from the Past

Spoon with original LWA badge
Spoon with original LWA badge

When making plans for the future, we often look back into the past. It is interesting to see what happened many years ago; to see what challenges and joys lay before the people making those plans. We have the privilege of seeing the results of the prayers, hopes and plans of Lutheran women as noted in our much-loved magazine over the last 54 years.

Although our world and technology have changed dramatically over more than half a century, the faithful devotion, aims and energy of our women remain the same.

In only the second year of publication, our magazine contained stories of women at work doing exactly the same sorts of things that we are doing today.

Following the inaugural convention of Lutheran Women of Australia in 1966, plans were afoot for the very first regular Convention to be held at Hoyts Theatre in Olive Street Albury, NSW. The two-day convention held 14,15 October 1968 had as its theme Alive Unto Christ in the Living Church.

The agenda was almost the same as the one planned for Horsham this year. Convention began with an opening worship service. The president of LWA Dulcie Held (referred to in our magazine as Mrs S Held) opened the proceedings saying, ‘After that mountain-top experience of the sermon we shall now come down to earth and do some work’.

Some 260 women were present each day to hear reports and information. Following a talk by the late Mr Sid Bartsch, who was the Australian representative of Lutheran World Service, a decision was made to make Lutheran World Service a project of LWA, with half of the convention offering being donated to kick-start the project. This project, now known as ALWS has been supported by our women ever since.

Aboriginal Mission was also discussed and recommended for support as well as New Guinea Mission, Lutheran Teachers’ College and the Seminary. Although Lutheran Teachers’ College no longer exists, the rest of the projects remain and are supported by our women.

A design for an LWA badge was presented for inspection and approval by the women. It was a shield background containing a Luther Rose. Some women commented that the shield was a little too masculine!

In other business discussed, participation in World Day of Prayer was also an item.

Yes, the LWA Constitution was discussed, with consideration of alterations to a merely two-year-old document. This would have been the forerunner of many such convention items over the years.

A decision was also made at Convention to include devotions for guilds in the magazine. Bible Studies were already being printed in each edition.

The business was interspersed with musical items, community singing, a panel discussion, a drama and a ‘colour slide’ presentation of a visit to Jordan by Mrs PD Pahl.

During 1968, our magazine contained pre-Convention information and the agenda as well as a comprehensive report after the event. It was also reported that during a spirited discussion about the type of gown worn by our pastors, somebody made the bright comment, “After all, it’s not what they wear, but what they say that matters”.

As well as Bible Studies, Lutheran Women in 1968 contained ‘inspirational’ items, news from states and guilds, news from LWA president and State News.

The 1968 volume of Lutheran Women comprised 36 pages (including cover) as it still does today. However, it was printed in black (single colour) with the front and back cover in two colours. The cost of reproducing photographs made it almost impossible to include them, as it was still being printed by the rapidly declining letterpress system.

It is interesting to note that advances in technology have resulted in everything being in colour these days. The younger generation generally are somewhat enthralled by print and film in black and white, something the older generation grew up with and took for granted.

Sometimes, a blast from the past gives us a nostalgic look at how things were some 50 years ago. We have seen the plans and work of Lutheran women in the 1960s blossom and come to fruition.

Through the years our women have met and worshipped and prayed and worked. As we continue to follow their example, may our loving heavenly Father continue to shower us abundantly with his blessing.

Lutheran Women reported in 1968: All who attended the Convention will surely hold warm memories of this occasion. Many old friends were reunited, and many new friends were made. Long may this continue.

Main Image: Time out for a photograph, Albury Convention, 1968

About the Author

Grace Bock

Grace has a passion for Lutheran Women of Australia, having served as President and Editor of Lutheran Women. She is a member at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Adelaide SA and is part of the Editorial Team.

Comments 2

  1. Thank you for that ” look back “. I often look at Lutheran women as to what they have done over the years akin to “country Women Association”. The women support each other in supporting the community. Thank you for the article and a walk down memory lane.

    1. Post

      Thank you for your comments, Judith! We love to hear from you!
      I receive a lot of pleasure delving into the past, and I am very thankful for the contribution to our church and society that our beloved Lutheran women have made.

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