Church life in the 50s

Church was a big part of life for us then – it still is now. Our family was a migrant family sponsored by the local Free Reformed Church which at that time met in the lesser hall of the Armadale Town Hall in Jull Street. Every Sunday morning at 8.30 or so the whole family would walk to the railway station at Kelmscott. My elder sister and I would walk and my baby brother would be in the wickerwork pram. A short ride on the steam train to the Armadale station and then the walk up Jull Street to the hall. Though I was only three years old I still remember the hall, and especially the singing part of the worship service. They used a lot of Genevan versions of the Psalms. I loved those songs, and I still do now, though now we sing them at a significantly faster pace than then. After a year or two the church moved to the hall of the John Calvin School in Little John St in Armadale – which was quite a bit further to walk.

The minister was a man named Bruining, a rather imperious man who ruled the place like a benevolent dictator. This was to cause some friction with my family in later years. I remember that when he preached he used to roll his RRRs. But he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully, which is a key task for any Christian minister.

© Copyright Willem Schultink