For all the Saints

With acknowledgment to Felicity Bradford who forwarded these stories to Lutheran Women and with thanks to the families who shared them.

Lovina Agnes Burger

Lovina Agnes was born in 1911, the youngest child of Dan Juers and his wife Hulda, and was raised on the family’s farm at Charleston in South Australia with two sisters and two brothers. At school she excelled at needlework, art projects and maths. After leaving school after one term at High (Secondary) School, she assisted at home in the dairy, acquired a working knowledge of German and learned the piano while her mother taught her to cook and sew.

The Juers sisters were known as the smartest dressers in their homemade fashions and Lovina continued to dressmake for herself and her five daughters and knitted lovingly for all, from husband to children to grandchildren all her life.

Lovina became a pastor’s wife, embracing the hardships of the pioneering areas of Eyre Peninsula. As a helpmate for Rupert Burger, she played a pump organ in the bush and taught Sunday School, sometimes travelling 1600 km a month assisting at Aboriginal camps and isolated properties, travelling in Rupert’s newly acquired Plymouth 6 motor car. Lovina was known to push the vehicle with her right arm, holding her new baby with her left while Rupert negotiated bogs and, she, wondering what to do with her fox tail fur stole hanging loosely. Three children were born at Tumby Bay in a matter of four years.

Then came a move to Waikerie where three more children were born. During the War, all her skills were used to feed and clothe the expanding family. Ration coupons and the child endowment were all she had, but her huge slabs of kuchen became legendary. Her daughters had beautiful, smocked dresses – even if they wore ‘flour bag’ bloomers underneath. Still in the process of nursing her sixth child, the family moved to Victor Harbor and resided on a farm 16 km out of town where Lovina milked up to 13 cows by hand for three years. She always had a big garden with both vegies and flowers. Another baby boy was born here before a move into town. Here she cared for children of migrant working mothers.

All this changed with a move to Brisbane (Qld) where the family increased to eight. Undaunted, Lovina once again bloomed where she was planted, made good friends with her neighbours, and enjoyed fashioning beautiful creations for her teenage daughters. This was the longest stay in one place.

On to Sydney (NSW), where her mission was to the youth who enjoyed her hospitality and listening ear. Next back to Bundaberg (Qld) with only one child in tow. Here she opened an ‘op’ shop under the church hall. Next, on to Launceston (Tas) where, now 70, she helped renovate the old manse. Now at retirement age, Rupert was invited to serve a fledgling congregation in Alstonville (NSW). They purchased their first home and established a tranquil, tropical garden. Rupert predeceased Lovina in 1996 and she moved into Trinder Park Home where her strong Christian faith sustained her to the end. She died in 2000 in her 90th year. She is remembered lovingly by her eight children and 21 grandchildren as a straight-out Christian lady who never gave up.

Well done thou good and faithful servant.

Gloria Faith was the most kind, generous and loyal person I have ever known.

She was born in Rainbow, Victoria in 1929, the eldest of her siblings. Her parents were Flora and Clem Heinrich.

Gloria grew up during the Great Depression and was 10 when the World War II broke out. The family moved many times looking for work.

She told the story of when she was two and a half years old, wandering away from her mum and dad, following her faithful dog, and ending up at the rabbit proof fence on the SA border. Had she got through, she would have been in the Little Desert and lost, but when the trusty dog went home and led her parents to her, she was spared.

The family moved from Vic to SA and to NSW. She attended Pella Lutheran School for six years then a short time at Tarrington Vic. Gloria was exempt from attending school when her mum lost a baby girl and she was needed to care for her siblings, but did return to finish Year 7, not attending High (Secondary) School.

Gloria and her sister were given the job of driving the cows every time they moved, and given sixpence to buy two apples, two oranges and two bananas to share for the whole day. Once, when a cow went into a swamp, it was nearly dark and, as they couldn’t get it out, they gravitated to where lights were on in a nearby house. The people there took them in, fed them and put them up for the night. Gloria was 12 and her sister 11 years old.

After leaving school, Gloria worked at a railway station serving food and drink, but at harvest time she was needed on the farm. For three years she worked at the girls boarding house of Concordia College, Adelaide, and spent the summer holiday picking grapes for Lutheran farmers in the Barossa Valley.

When her father lost a leg in a motor bike accident, he purchased a farm at Targinnie near Gladstone, Qld. Gloria followed with her little girl. There she met Austin Hoad and had five more beautiful children. They grew up on a small acreage at Benaraby, south of Gladstone, where Gloria milked cows, saddled horses, fed animals, grew vegetables and mangoes as well as helping Austin run a haulage business. She sewed and knitted for the family as well as taking in anyone without a home.

Her faith was paramount, so she faithfully took her children to church at St Martin’s Gladstone where all the children were confirmed.

Gloria was an honest and hardworking woman. The last months of her life were hard and she was cared for by her daughter and granddaughters before her death in 2020.

She grew up with a strong Christian faith retained until the end.

A good and faithful servant, she shall inherit the riches of heaven. 

Told by her daughter, Marcelle Pearce.

About the Author

Editorial Team

Comments 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *