THERE were some startled visitors to the sleepy precinct of historic Hartley recently as they watched history being re-enacted.
Numerous cars and the Bowenfels Presbyterian Church bus disgorged more than 40 people who packed into the old Hartley Court House.
They were there to celebrate a thanksgiving anniversary of an almost identical church service held there 174 years ago by Presbyterian pioneer settlers.
True to old church procedure, music was only supplied by congregational singing.
Unlike the first sermon at Hartley that was spoken in Scottish Gaelic by Reverend Colin Stewart, Sunday’s addresses were delivered by Pastor Ian Macdonald, Reverend Angus Ewin and Reverend Tony Lang in English.
Lithgow’s mayor Maree Statham read George Evan’s poem “The Women of the West”, a moving tribute to pioneer women from all walks of life.
Without those women, whose steadfast loyalty and courage, the expansion and development of the NSW colony after the Blue Mountains crossing in 1813 would not have been possible.
Continuing to support the Presbyterian Reverend John Flynn’s work, the Royal Flying Doctors service will receive the offering taken at the service.
Following the formalities the congregation enjoyed the hospitality of Valerie and Angus Hawes and Jo Mantle’s homes and garden at Little Hartley for morning tea.
Bowenfels Church extends thanks to the National Parks and Wildlife Manager Steve Ring for his cooperation and assistance in making the day a memorable success.
MARKING A MILESTONE: Some of the congregation from the Old Bowenfels Presbyterian Church outside Hartley Court House. lm022713church1
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