Soldier Send-Offs

During the war years it was common for organisations and even groups of friends to organise send-offs for the mates and members who had enlisted for active service. Usually the soldier or soldiers were entertained with songs and recitations and were given a useful gift to take with to the front.

Saturday 5 February 1916 saw one such send-off at the Methodist School Hall in Graham Street. The Rev J Trathan acted as Chairman for the evening which saw not only members of the church congregation, specifically the choir but also members of the football and cricket clubs associated with the church.

The evening commenced with Rev Trathan making a speech referring the valuable service three young men, John Trewavis, Warren Rendall and Richard Trevorrow had made to the church choir. He hoped that in good time they would all return laden with honours. On behalf of the church he presented Rendall with a pocket compass and to Trewavis and Trevorrow he gave a signet ring each. He also gave a wristwatch to Ray Fisher.

On behalf of the choir Mr Albert Bond also mentioned the valued service of the three previously mentioned three men and then gave Rendall a signet ring, Trewavis a safety razor and Trevorrow a wristwatch.

Mr R Douglas on behalf of the football and cricket clubs gave Rendall a pocket wallet and to Trevorrow, Trewavis, Fisher, J Nankervis and R Kerr he gave each a money belt. He also presented Rendall with a silver card case enclosing 100 printed cards as a trophy for the best bowling average.

A programme of singing a recitations followed arranged by the conductor of the choir Mr Charles Trewavis. Misses Irene Carroll and H Howlett and Messrs Les Paull, Les Sanders, J Mummery, C Waldhater and Charles Trewavis all took part.

Mr Warren Rendall responded on behalf to all those who had received presentations as well as good wishes for the upcoming service at the Front.

The evening concluded with the gathering crowding towards the front of the hall to witness the unveiling of an honour board crafted by Richard Trevorrow listing members of the football club who had enlisted.  Afterwards the group sang the National Anthem.

References:

1916 ‘GRAHAM-STREET METHODIST CHURCH.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 19 February, p. 1. , viewed 23 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91163982

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