The Men’s Group of the Doncaster East Methodist Church was started in 1971 by the minister, Reverend Colin. We met on the first Tuesday of each month beginning with an evening meal at the Coffee Bean restaurant in Warrandyte followed by a guest speaker. The format of the meeting remained the same for many years through a number of significant changes – In 1977 we became part of the Uniting Church in Australia, in 2005 we amalgamated with the Deep Creek congregation to become the Doncaster East Uniting Church and in 2012 we became part of Manningham Uniting Church.
After Colin moved on Peter took over as organiser of the group. He remained in this position until his death in 2017 and did a great job in organising a huge range of guest speakers. When he couldn’t organise a speaker he gave us food for thought by bring a number of news-papers to the meeting which he handed out and gave us topics to research and then discuss.
When the meeting moved to the Methodist church from Warrandyte the ladies of the Church, the Jenning Gerries, provided our meal for many years. When the ladies finished, Peter organised a caterer to carry on. When the caterer could not make it Peter placed an order at Macca’s across the road.
Peter encouraged ladies to come to our meetings and eventually the term ‘Men’ was dropped, the group becoming ‘The Fellowship Group’.
David and John took over as organisers of the group after Peter. David was able to bring a lot of very interesting speakers to the group.
Over the years the number of people attending our meeting remained largely between 15 and 20. Very few new members joined the group over the years so the average age advanced with the passage of time. When the caterer lost her approval to cater for us (a bureaucratic nonsense) we cut the meal out of our program. This was a real shame as it turned it into just another meeting with less social interaction.
At our February meeting we decided that the time had come to wind the group up. We all agree that the Group has been a memorable and enjoyable part of our church lives with so many worthwhile speakers, interesting discussions and shared friendships over 50 years.
Frank and John