After two attempts at holding a service to mark the retirement of Mrs Jean Spicer as organist at Bendigo (St John’s) Presbyterian Church (with both of these attempts postponed due to last minute lockdowns), finally it has happened!
On Sunday December 12, 2021 the congregation met to give thanks and praise to our God for almost 70 years of faithful and appreciated service over the years accompanying the praise of God at regular Sunday worship, weddings, funerals, Sunday School anniversaries and other events for both congregation and choir.
The service featured Jean’s three favourite hymns, ‘Immortal invisible’, ‘To God be the glory’ and ‘The day Thou gavest’, speeches of thanks to Jean, the presentation of a special certificate made by Elder Andrew Kerr on behalf of Session, and a gift of flowers presented by Mrs Averil Harris, Secretary of the Board. Rev Philip Burns preached the sermon on Luke 19:11-27, titled, ‘God’s people have got talent! (or, ‘a call to multiply your minas’) and a shared covid-friendly lunch was held in the hall afterward as part of the celebrations.
Jean commenced her long stint as organist for St John’s after the retirement of the previous organist, sometime after June 1953, aged 16 years of age, having been thrust into the job at the suggestion of her father. During the years of her service, Jean has not only seen seven Ministers come and go (the 8th is still there), but also a number of different organs, the St John’s congregation go into Union and then re-form again, buying back its previous building. One of the highlights of Jean’s time was playing for the re-opening service at St John’s in the afternoon of October 15, 1985 with about 450 people attending in the church and by video into the hall. She did have a break from the organ during the time of the birth of each of her four children and ‘retired’ on other occasions, but continued to keep playing as required. But this time, retirement is official, and Jean’s husband Ted, will finally be able to have her sit next to him during services at St John’s where they have been members for these many years.
The Church family at Bendigo gives great thanks to God for the blessings received through Jean’s faithful service and were glad to honour her faithful contribution to the worship of His great Name.
Thank you Jean!