Artist/Studio: Brooks, Robinson, Melbourne, Vic. C.1896.
Location: Geelong, Victoria.
Building: Christ Church, Geelong.
Memorial: Fanny Goodman (daughter of the incumbent, Canon George Goodman).
Photos dated: 24th October 2010.
“DEDICATION OF A MEMORIAL WINDOW AT CHRIST CHURCH.”
“The dedication of the handsome memorial window erected at Christ Church in remembrance of the late Miss Fanny Goodman took place yesterday at the forenoon service, which was conducted by the Rev. W. Chas. Pritchard. The window in which the memorial is set is that by which the eastern light is admitted into the north transept, and is thus within the view of the worshipers in the main body of the church and of the occupants of the pews in the transepts. It is fitting that the memorial to one who was so conspicuous in the service of the church for which she had been 22 years organist should take the form that it has done. The movement for its erection was quite spontaneous, the funds required for the purpose being subscribed with a readiness which was deeply felt by the relatives. From an aesthetic point of view the church has been greatly enriched by the memorial, which is and exceptionally fine specimen of colonial art, reflecting the highest credit upon the firm of Brooks, Robinson and Co., by whom it was produced. It was designed by Mr. Drummond, artist for the firm named, and is symbolical of the three Christian virtues represented by three female figures standing upon tessellated pavement beneath canopies of beautiful and intricate design. Charity, as the greatest of all, occupies the central panel. Her face is animated by an expression of the most maternal solicitude, her attention being divided between an infant in her arms and a gaunt youth in an attitude of supplication at her feet. Faith leans with an aspect of security upon the Cross, and Hope, looking expectantly upwards, has the anchor for support. The allegories are exquisitely worked out, the central figures being revealed with great distinctness, against the subdued lights which form the background. The tone of the memorial is more subdued than that of the other stained glass windows in the church, which are a glorious mass of color, but its artistic excellence will probably be recognised much more readily on account of the contrast. A memorial brass beneath the window contains the following inscription:- “This window was erected by the parishioners of Christ Church, and other friends of Fanny Goodman, in affectionate remembrance of the Christian graces by which she endeared herself to all, her zeal and devotion in every good work, and her eminent talent as organist of the church for 22 years. ‘She being dead yet speaketh’.” There was a crowded congregation, and the sermon for the occasion was preached by the Rev. W. Chas. Pritchard, who took “The ideal of angel life” as the subject of his discourse, the text being taken from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, xxii. 30. In the course of his remarks the preacher said that there could surely be no better fashion of perpetuating the memory of their loved ones than by such gifts as that which they had dedicated to God’s glory. Their memory became more hallowed by constant association with the sacred subjects and symbols thus presented. They took comfort in the knowledge that God’s house would be more beautiful by reason of such a memorial. to them it would symbolise the unfailing blessing which God had given to them, and to others by the life they held in cherished memory. Faith, Hope, and Charity were pictured by symbolic forms and the greatest, as was fitting, occupied the central panel, and she was in the act to make proof of the love of which she was the expression. Faith was represented as grasping the sacred sign of Redemption, and the artist had made it staff-like in form as though to teach that the cross was both the rod which pointed the way and the staff which helped them on their journey. Hope, resting upon an anchor, taught them that his grace was the means from which the soul fastened all its longings and affections in that place “whether the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.” But Hope also held a book, for they knew that it was “by patience and comfort of the Scriptures” that they had hope. The fact that in this window holy virtues were thus personified and symbolised suggested the remembrance that they were wont to express their ideals of the Heavenly life by angelic forms. And for this, as their text assured them, they had the highest warrant. Artists had exercised their highest gifts of genius in picturing the glory and beauty and perfection of all graces by the figures of angels. The angel life was their ideal of purity and holiness, and they were surely justified in tracing the approaches to that ideal in the characters of those they loved. Those of his hearers who best knew the faithful servant of God of whom the new window reminded them would readily recall such signs of God’s grace in her. As the light shone in more mellowed beauty through the picture pane, so by her works, her gifts, her influence, a new and holier light shone for many upon their common surroundings. The inscription underneath the window told of the Christian graces by which she endeared herself to all, of her zeal and devotion in every good work, of the eminent talent with which she exercised her office as organist of the church for 22 years. Surely then it was well written as the conclusion of the inscription “She being dead yet speaketh.” They should remember that as they might thus find help and comfort from the cherished memory of one so esteemed amongst them, so they might always grow in grace by following in themselves all that approached to the ideal of the angel life in the faithful departed. The memory of the just was blessed, because they could in loving remembrance trace the working of God’s grace in all that was highest and best in their characters. After death they were more ready to make that merciful allowance which in life, alas! they too seldom exercised, and so they could see, unbiased, the fruits of good living, the points of good example, the devotion to duty and the principles that shaped life to noblest ends. So by their fellows God led them nearer to Himself. His grace to them was magnified when they fondly remembered all that was best and divinest in their life and conversation. They could learn that morning to their practical benefit how they might profit by every good example which God helped them to prepare for the life to come – not simply by admiring and praising, but by following in the power that the Father would give through His Spirit, following the Saviour along the way of the cross to the way of light – “Per crucem ad lucem.” The music was suitable to the occasion, and Sir John Stainer’s setting of Cardinal Newman’s beautiful hymn “Lead kindly light” was sung with much feeling by the choir under the direction of Mr Croft, the last verse being peculiarly appropriate to the occasion.”