A significant and historic find

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Last month, an historic superb gold watch dating back to 1865 was found hidden in a rusted, locked metal box in the Pilgrim archive room by the church’s historical archivists.

The watch bears the inscription Presented to the Revd C.N. Evan B.A., by the ladies of his Congregation, Adelaide 8th March 1865.

Chris Ward, Margaret Boyce and Christine Boyce have worked as archivists for Pilgrim Church for the past 12 years. Describing the discovery they said, ‘A volunteer managed to prise open the rusted lock. We left a small nondescript brown paper package in the trunk unopened when other priorities took over. Later, with an overwhelming curiosity, we opened the parcel and found the watch. With it, was an article from the February 1962 The Record, the newsletter of the Stow memorial Congregational Church.

The article stated ‘Mr Evan was Co-Minister with the Rev TW Stow from 1855 to 1856 and then assumed the full responsibility of the Pastorate which he carried on until his retirement in 1871.

It was largely through his efforts that the present fine Pilgrim building was erected, the foundation stone being laid on 7th February 1865 and the first service held on 12th April 1867.

The archival records do not indicate any reference to the gift of the watch but it seems likely that it was presented to C.N Evan as a token of the affection in which he was held and in appreciation of all that he had done to make the erection of Stow Memorial Congregational Church possible.

Stow Memorial Congregational Church officially became Pilgrim Uniting Church with the inauguration of the Uniting Church Australia in 1977.

The archivists went on to say ‘This is an important item adding “colour” to the archival history of early pastors and churches of Adelaide. We expect more surprises!’


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