Artist/Studio: William Montgomery, Melbourne, 1897.
Location: Heidelberg, Victoria.
Building: St John’s, Heidelberg.
Memorial: Charles & Isabella Margaret Maplestone.
Donor: Maplestone family.
Photos dated: 29th June 2013.
“A Dedication Service.”
“A memorial window has just been erected in St. John’s Church, Heidelberg, by the family of the late Mr. and Mrs. Maplestone, of Ivanhoe, and was dedicated, on behalf of the donors, by the Rev. Arthur J. Pickering, Vicar of the Parish, on Sunday afternoon, the 8th inst., in the presence of a large number of members of the family and others.
The window is from the studio of Mr. William Montgomery, of 164 Flinders-street, Melbourne, and is treated in his well known masterly style. There are three figures – Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, with the child, John Baptist standing by her side the text under the figures being: “And they were both righteous before God.” – Luke 1.6.
At the base is the following inscription: “In memory of Charles Maplestone, of Ivanhoe Lodge, and his wife, Isabella Margaret, for 20 years earnest workers in this parish. Erected by their children, 1897…”
“…WORDS OF DEDICATION.
In the Glory of God, and on behalf of the family who have erected this window, I solemnly dedicate the same to remain in this church as a memorial of their beloved parents, Charles and Isabella Margaret Maplestone, who for 20 years were earnest Christian workers in this parish. Amen.
In a brief address after the dedication, the Vicar said that out of consideration for the feelings of some present who were most closely concerned with and most nearly affected by the ceremony just performed (feelings in which he could very deeply sympathise) his remarks would be much briefer than they otherwise would have been. But his personal knowledge of and acquaintance with in years gone by, those whose memory would now be perpetuated in St. John’s Church, Heidelberg, and his relation to and esteem for many members of their family, forbad that he should be altogether silent; it would be unfitting and he considered strange if he allowed those present to leave the church that afternoon without his making some reference to that which had been the occasion of their assembling at that time. He desired to mention to others not of the family referred to that he was entirely alone responsible for the special services that afternoon. It had been the intention of the family to have attended the morning service during or after which the window could have been simply dedicated. His reason, however, for appointing a special service and in the afternoon was not with a view of making any undue distinction (those who rightly knew him would be satisfied on that point) but chiefly because Mr. and Mrs. Maplestone had for so many (20) years been earnest Christian workers in the Parish of Heidelberg. Mr. Maplestone had been an active member of the vestry and its secretary, also hon. Reader, conducting Divine Service in the church school house at Ivanhoe, and lay representative of the Parish in the Church Assembly, and though that was before his (the Vicar’s) time in Heidelberg, and though so many years had passed since then, yet that was no argument against but for his action in having appointed that special service for the object which had brought them together, inasmuch as it showed that the good faithful work of those two truly Christian persons, though they had long since removed, was not forgotten – nay, was still with us, bearing good fruit; and with regard to those more closely connected the lapse of time fails to efface from memory the faces and voices of those once and still so dear. With regard to this beautiful window which has just been dedicated, the adult figures are Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, and St. Luke’s description of those two saintly persons – “They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” has been most appropriately chosen as the text for the window to describe the lives and characters of those whose memory it has been erected by their children. Nothing better can be said of any man or woman. In further referring to the window the Vicar said it reflected the greatest credit on the artist, who is resident in Heidelberg, and that he took that opportunity on behalf of the congregation, the vestry, and himself as Vicar, to thank the family who had placed it there, and was sure that he uttered the sentiments of that family in saying that they, on their part, esteemed it a privilege to have it placed where it was, for like their worthy parents, to whose memory it had just been erected and dedicated, they could say, and they also showed by their regular attendance at their Parish Church, either here or wherever they resided, and by their liberal support of its ministry and ordinances according to their means, that what they said was on their lips, no idle, empty meanless words…”