Carlsruhe Ladies Guild 120th Anniversary

There are still a few of us who remember 50 plus years of guild. We were newly married young women trying to settle into a new life, in a new country area, mostly on farms. Very soon, we found we were “expected” to join the Guild, part of St John’s Lutheran Church, Carlsruhe, near Waterloo and Manoora and surrounded by farmland. In my case, my mother-in-law was thrilled to have another driver in the family, me! Thus, she did not have to ask her husband or sons to drive her to guild as they had in the past!

1990 Guild members at the, then, Carlsruhe Manse, With Pastor Max Stollznow and Rosemary Stollznow (right)

Soon we were toting along children as well, much to the delight of the many, in those days, older ladies.

Last year, 2022, was the 120th Anniversary this same guild, something we thought worth mentioning! Even though now only a small handful of members, we still love to meet monthly and enjoy Bible study and fellowship. We still support guild projects as we have through all those years.

Mrs Luise Homann, wife of Pastor Ernst Homann, began our guild in 1902 in a small way, at first. As a young woman she had been accustomed to guild work in Germany. In her earlier life, when married to her first husband, Pastor Wilhelm Wendlandt, she worked in mission fields in India and Africa. Mrs Homann was the first President. Gradually the membership grew and activities expanded. No official minutes were kept until 1923, but there is a complete record of the financial activities dating from July 1902. A small black covered notebook containing this record has the title, “Der Frau-en-Verin” attractively hand printed on the first page. Initially, material was purchased and five dresses were made for Koonibba Mission (on the west coast of South Australia). In the early years too, some furnishings for the church interior were purchased. In 1923 a Constitution was adopted, a roll call introduced, and a Secretary was elected, Mrs Louise Eckermann. Minutes were recorded in the German language, the spoken language at meetings from the inception of the guild, until 1940. It was only then that the English language took over at the meetings!

For the first 50 years, the ladies worked enthusiastically for the Koonibba Mission, sending one consignment of goods mid-year and another prior to Christmas. Goods consisted of biscuits, sweets! nuts, new and second-hand clothing, jam, honey and dripping! In later years the Guild gave Manchester goods for the Children’s Home and money for the purchase of a refrigerator, steriliser, quilts and mattresses for the hospital, and furnishings for the Koonibba manse.

Gloria Schutz and Jenny Schwartz cutting the Anniversary cake

In 1936 the Guild began sending brightly coloured cotton material and sewing aids to the New Guinea Mission. This was at the time when Mrs Con Eckermann was involved in teaching the native girls sewing. Later, dresses, shorts, and jackets were sent, and sterilised linen for the New Guinea Hospital. The New Guinea Medical Fund was supported annually for many years.

Also, in 1936 the ladies began sending biscuits and sweets for patients in metropolitan hospitals, and honey biscuits were sent before Christmas.

Our 120th milestone was celebrated during a recent service, followed by morning tea in the church hall.

The women of the guild have done much to assist in the extension of God’s Kingdom over so many years. May we, with God’s blessing, continue to serve with zeal, so we may be a blessing to others.

Jenny Schwartz, President

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