In August this year, we were privileged to have professional conservator, Kay Söderlund, run a one-day Care of Collections workshop for the Australasian Pentecostal Studies Centre (APSC) on behalf of a Community Heritage Grant awarded to Rev Assoc Prof Denise Austin funded by the Australian Government and managed by the National Library of Australia. Over fifty people attended, including Alphacrucis College (AC) alumni, faculty and students. Some special guests included: Ps Fred and Betty Evans (AC alumni, and long-term missionary pastors); Ps Glenys Hovey (long-term missionary to Papua New Guinea, AC alumni and volunteer in the APSC); Ps Brian Banton (AC alumni and long-term ACC pastor); and Michelle Goodman from the Parramatta Heritage Centre.
Kay’s expertise in preventative conservation made for an engaging, comprehensive and insightful workshop. The knowledge gained will now guide the day-to-day collection handling and storage practices in the APSC. For attendees, the sessions provided insight for the appropriate handling and storage of personal collections, which, in many cases will hopefully one-day become part of the College’s heritage collection through donation or bequests.
A great highlight of the day was to have Ps Brian Banton donate Rev Fred Van Eyk’s loose leaf preaching Bible, on the day of the workshop. Van Eyk, a South African evangelist who migrated to Australia in 1926, played a central role in the founding of the Apostolic Faith Mission of Australasia. Along with Bert Banton (Brian’s father), Van Eyk also established the Foursquare Church in Australia in 1929. Considering the significance of the donation, and the theme of the workshop, the occasion for acquiring Van Eyk’s personal preaching Bible couldn’t have been more appropriate!
Denise Austin also won a second Community Heritage Grant for a two-day Preservation Needs Assessment, undertaken by Kay. This involved an examination of the archive collection in order to provide expert advice regarding measures for further preservation of the collection. Kay had undertaken a preservation survey for the APSC in 2004, so was extremely impressed with the advancement of the centre since that time – both in terms of expanded size of the collection, as well as its storage in the new purpose-built APSC archives and museum. Ps Fred and Betty Evans were also the special guest speakers at the AC chapel service that week, so the APSC was featured and promoted to over 100 staff and students in attended.
We thank Kay for her invaluable contribution and also thank all of those who attended the workshop. These two events have further inspired us toward the goal of preserving Australasian Pentecostal history. We know that all those involved have gained a deeper appreciation of the wonderful collection housed in the APSC collection.