ANNIVERSARY: Chinchilla Lutheran Church Pastor Michael Alfsonl and Linda, who was baptised as a baby at the opening, cut the cake in celebration of the church's 50th anniversary.
ANNIVERSARY: Chinchilla Lutheran Church Pastor Michael Alfsonl and Linda, who was baptised as a baby at the opening, cut the cake in celebration of the church's 50th anniversary. Zoe Bell

Chinchilla Lutheran Church reflect on the past 50 years

IT WAS an extremely blustery and windy day on September 14, 1969, making the flight for Meg Noack and her father Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen from Kingaroy to Chinchilla a very bumpy ride.

Fifty years ago, the Chinchilla Lutheran Church was dedicated and a foundation stone was unveiled by the honourable Mr Bjelke-Petersen in the name of the Holy Trinity.

Mrs Noack was in attendance with her father on that day and she said it was quite special to come with her dad because he was trying to teach her tofly an aeroplane, so the trip from Kingaroy to Chinchilla was the ideal way she could at least watch him in action.

"I particularly remember the flyover and Dad encouraging me to look at landmarks on the ground, look at the map and look at the roads," she said.

"So I did a little map reading on the way."

People often ask her what she can remember about the day but she finds it hard to put into words

"It was more feeling and emotions," she said.

" I remember when we pulled up and I went 'wow that's the church, that's really modern'. The steep roof and the line of building. I remember particularly the assembly and the dedication plaque at the front.

"However what I remember the most was the church being full of people and the singing being magnificent.

"There are the things that touch your heart and you remember."

The church held its 50th anniversary service on Sunday, celebrating the past but more importantly looking to the future.

It was run very similarly to how the service went 50 years ago, with the service beginning under the awning.

Instead of her husband opening the door to the church like he did 50 years ago, Val Sims had the honour of doing the deed this time.

One big difference about the two days though, was that this time there was no fire.

Herb Kleidon, one of the oldest members still around, was one of the ushers at the opening.

"I remember the fireman came in about six minutes and they had to break all those nice windows to get the hose through to put it out," he said.

Mr Kleidon also remembers putting the bell up that rings before every service and the fact that he and this brother Stan are the only two men in the congregation who have been up to the peak of the church, which stands about 52ft high at the front and 34ft at the rear.

"I climbed the roof to put the boards on because they painted them originally," he said.

"I held onto a rope and every time you pushed the drill all the momentum would go along this rope and you would fall backwards.

"In our days now, they just use a cherry picker."

Even though the ways we do things have become easier, the struggles of drought and depression are still the same.

However the church is looking froward to helping in these situations for thenext 50 years and beyond.