Alexandra Hall and Craft Shop, Toogoolawah. 1987.
and T.W. Long along with D.C. McConnel were on the first committee.
Over the years the McConnel families have actively supported both
Presbyterian and Anglican churches. The new St Andrew's church, seating
120 was opened on 2 February 1876 by Rev. David Watt. The young
immigrant minister died of consumption on 3 August 1877 and was
followed by five relieving ministers until Rev. James S. Pollock was
inducted into the charge on 29 September 1880. The charge covered the
region from Wivenhoe to Nanango and Kilcoy to Atkinson's Lagoon. The
manse was built of cedar, six rooms and kitchen.4O
The Presbyterian Church was strong in Esk by 1889 supported by
pastoralists and businessmen, especially Carl and Herman Blank, J.
Smith, John Moore of Colinton, J.M. Gorrie, J. Anderson, J.H. McConnel
and S. Marshall. The Session members were Geoffrey Smith, David Muir,
James Jones, Thomas Pryde Snr, John Reid, Robert Scott, E. Harding Snr,
James Brown, and John MacDonald. David Muir was Session Clerk for
thirty-five years of growth up to 1930. There were over two hundred
adults enrolled in the charge and Esk had a Sunday School of around
ninety pupils in 1908.
The minister was conveyed around the charge preaching at Atkinson's
Lagoon (Union Church), Bellevue Homestead, Biarra Hall Caboonbah
(Undenominational Church), Coominya, Deep Creek (Undenominational
Church), Fernvale, Harlin, Hazeldean (Union Church), Cressbrook,
Moombra Hall Moore Hall Murrumba Hall, Toogoolawah (Union Church),
Villeneuve and Wivenhoe. The minister also cycled extensively, covering
around fifty miles on a Sunday! The Ladies Guild was formed in 1908 and
held many successful St Andrew's Day Scottish Trysts.
The ministers through this growth period were Rev. W.G. Stevens,
1906-1910, Rev. John Lundie, 1911-1916, Rev. Mervyn Henderson,
Cambridge University Graduate of 1906, form 1916-1922, Rev C.B. Watts
to 1932, when he was transferred to Kingaroy. Rev T. Gray served from
1943 to 1947, Rev. A. Calvert, Rev. George G. Johnson to 1969. Many
other preaching centres were added as settlement expanded Buaraba
Creek, Benarkin, Booie, Cressbrook Creek, Colinton, Crossdale, Crow's
Nest, Dundas, Emu Creek, Glencoe, Glen Esk, Glen Harding, Hopetoun,
Hazeldean, Ivory's Creek, Kentville, Kilcoy, Kipper Creek (Barbour's),
Lowood, Moore, Mt Beppo, Mt Brisbane, Mt Esk Pocket, Nukinenda,
Northbrook, Ottaba, Perseverance, Sandy Creek (Bellevue), Somerset Dam,
and Taromeo. Over that wide range of activity there was a strong t.eam
on the Committee of Management led by session clerks, D.C. McConnel,
1873-1885, George Smith, 1891-1892,