The 75th Birthday Pary – 1955

Saint Paul's ChurchHistory

by Rose Nightingale

calhoun11In 1955, Saint Paul’s was 75 years old. Every opportunity was taken to involve members of the parish in celebrating. Committees were established, co-chaired by Lawrence S. Clark and Charlotte Weld. A special issue of the Messenger was published in May 1955 with photographs of rectors, church buildings and missions. Former rectors were invited, active and inactive, to attend services, receptions and dinners. Dr. Knickerbocker had been injured in an automobile accident and Bishop Keeler was seriously ill, so neither could attend.

More than 300 attended a birthday party at the Calhoun Beach Hotel. The Rev. Vernon Johnson was master of ceremonies. Principal address was by the Rt. Rev. William P. Remington, and grace was said by the Rt. Rev. Richard Emery, both former rectors. A reception was held on Saturday, June 4, 1955, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Longyear, where hundreds congregated. Many former rectors and bishops attended. Sunday was the climax of the celebration. Morning Prayer was held in a packed church. Mrs. Jean Conrad had practiced the choir until it was letter perfect. One of her boys sang a soprano solo, the Rt. Rev. Granville G. Bennett delivered the sermon. He was bishop of Rhode Island, the fourth of Saint Paul’s rectors to be elevated to this station.

At the same time, the Rt. Rev. William P. Remington, Bishop of Pennsylvania, preached at the mission church, St. David’s in Minnetonka Mills. Evensong was sung at the home church, with special music by the Saint Paul’s choir and an organ recital by Mrs. Conrad. The Rt. Rev. Richard Emery was the preacher. An open reception was held following the service. Clergy and representatives from other churches were invited.

Miss Louise Burwell, a life-long communicant, had visited the Rev. Johnson in November 1951, and requested that Saint Paul’s sponsor a mission at Minnetonka Mills. She showed him a piece of property she and her brother George Burwell owned and wished to give as a site for the proposed church building. The subject was introduced to Saint Paul’s Wardens and it was decided to embark on this missionary adventure. Thirty families were transferred to the new mission.

In August 1952, a summer vacation school was held under the direction of P. Frank Atherton. Parents and others met in Minnetonka Mills Town Hall. A Sunday School and regular church service was held each Sunday. The first church service was held in the Town Hall on September 7. The Rev. Ray S. Hardy conducted services until December 14, when Mr. Atherton officially became vicar of St. David’s.