The Rt Revd Ernest Burgmann, Bishop, laid the foundation stone of the Church Hall on 5th May 1957. On Sunday 6th May 2007, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of that event.
The congregation at the celebration included guests who had attended during the early days of St Philip's. Igitur Nos and trumpeter Matthew Stuckings sang and played. Rob Lamerton involved the many children present in the service, which added extra enjoyment to the celebration of the important day. The Revd Robert Willson, former Rector of the parish, spoke of the early formation of the church and gave an amusing and interesting address.
There were displays of photographs of parishioners at events over the years and other historical information. After the service, a fine brunch was served under the spreading canopy of the plane tree in the courtyard.
The previous evening, the day of the anniversary, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the church with 1950s themed party, in the hall that had been dedicated fifty years before. Bishop George Browning and his wife Margaret were among the guests.
Denise Manley and the soprano group In the Mood — plus a big shiny juke box — provided the music.
Created by St Philip's own party planning team of Leighton Mann and Ann and John Munro, the 1950s atmosphere was set by special lighting with wall and table decorations using old vinyl records. A feature was a life-sized cutout photograph of our drum-playing Rector, Rob Lamerton, as Elvis! Black gingham table settings were complemented by the parish's old pastel-yellow 1950s china, a reminder of the time when the parish catering group used to cater for functions in the Canberra area as a fund raiser for the new church.
Parishioners and friends entered into the mood, many dressing in outfits begged, borrowed or purloined from the back of wardrobes or found in our pre-loved fashion boutique, Pandoras at O'Connor.
Dancing ended the evening and there was a leg twisting Pride of Erin (some of us hadn't danced this for years) and Gareth Lamerton gave a display of dancing that brought the house down. Certainly St Philip's knows how to party 1950s style.