The Hapgood family and the founding of the Kin Kin Methodist Church 1916.

The Hapgood family at Kin Kin, and particularly William Hapgood b1872, were all heavily involved with the Kin Kin Methodist Church, from its early establishment in 1916 shortly after the family arrived in Kin Kin, through to the 1960s.

William “Bill” Hapgood was instrumental in establishing the Kin Kin Junction Church in 1916 and was a steward from 1916 until the 1960’s [1]. He became an official member of the Methodist Church of Australia in June 1915 [3] and in Oct 1915 he became one of the 5 trustees of the church. Before the church was built, the morning Church service was held on the veranda of the Hapgood house, and at times at other local homes [4].

Willliam Hapgood’s official membership ticket to the Methodist Church of Australia. [3]

In May 1914, it was announced that 2 new Methodist churches would be built – one in Kin Kin and one in Pinbarren [5,6].

New Kin Kin Church Announcement, Gympie Times, 1914 [6]

There was strong support for the new church, and a horse was bought for the ministers to use to travel around the district [5]. The Hapgood family held parties to help fundraise enough money to build the new church. Olga says in her Memoirs:

During those years we held parties in our home mainly to raise money for the Methodist church. People came from the whole of the Noosa shire and it was a really wonderful time. We usually held the party on a bright moonlight night, so we could have treasure hunts and play games outside, and then we gathered around the piano for community songs. We girls went to so much trouble decorating the verandas and hanging lanterns. I remember the time we transformed one veranda into a forest with branches and leaves, in which we hid hundreds of paper butterflies we had made, and the person who found the largest amount of butterflies won the prize

Olga Hapgoods Memoirs [5]

When the Church was opened in Dec 1916, it was reported in the Gympie Times [7] as:

New Church Opened —The first  Methodist church building on the Kin Kin was opened on Sunday. The congregation numbered over 100, nearly every family being represented. Rev. T. H. Taylor performed the opening ceremony. The Cooroy choir sang two Anthems, "O, Saviour of the World," and God so Loved the World." The collection for the day amounted to £5 14/, and donations £89/5. The new church is a wooden building 28 by 14, with front porch and Gothic windows. It was erected by Mr. R. Silzer, and the trustees are well satisfied with the work. Since the formation of the Noosa Home Mission into district Societies, the services have been carried out at the residences of Messrs. A. J. Ferris and W. Hapgood, the latter's having been the meeting place for the last 18 months. In the early days, before the big settlement, service was held by the Rev. J. Whitford, and the late Mr. W. McAuley, at the residence of Mr. Cass, when the only congregation in those days was Mr. Cass and family. The total cost of the new building was about £150, and at the time of opening the debt was reduced to £40.

The Church was very important in Olga Hapgood’s life, and in 1986 she wrote a commemorative booklet for the 70th Anniversary of the Church [4]. I have included extracts from Olga’s text relevant to family history side of things:

…the body of people-pioneers of the Kin Kin Junction area who formed the church and had the vision of building a place of worship and fellowship for their families. Those were the days before the motorcar and families travelled many miles by buckboard or sulky and very often walked long distances every Sunday morning. The church was opened by Rev. Thomas Taylor on the 12th December 1916. Prior to this the services were held at the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Ferris (which later became the home of the Grevett family) and also at the home of Bill and Clara Hapgood.

Olga Seamer, 70th Anniversary of Kin Kin Methodist Church, 1986 [1]

When the Church was finished and opened in 1916, it was next-door to the Kin Kin school and only a 5-10 min walk up the road from the Hapgoods farm.

My own earliest recollection of the early years of the Church commence in the late 1920’s when as a child I attended Sunday School and Church. How we children looked forward to our Sunday School Anniversaries and practised for many hours learning our songs and poems. There was always a prize book for each child which was so much appreciated in those days and many were the books exchanged and read over and over. The highlight of the years was the Christmas Tree beautifully decorated by the Sunday School Teachers and each child received a present. In those earlier days these events were our only entertainment so the joy and wonder of them will remain in our hearts forever.

Olga Seamer nee Hapgood, 70th Anniversary of Kin Kin Methodist Church, 1986 [1]

Over the years, the methodist church was a very important place for the Hapgood family. Wiliam Hapgood was heavily involved for most of his life. Iris, Ina and Gwen Hapgood were all Sunday School teachers and organists in the Church [1]. Gwen was also secretary for the Ladies Church Help Society in 1934 [5]. Williams daughters Phyllis, Iris and Ina Hapgood all took place in the Kin Kin Methodist church – and probably others too although I havent confirmed this yet. Olga writes:

The first wedding to take place in the church on 11th May, 1921 was that of Phyllis Hapgood and Charles Johnston – the minister officiating was Reverend Grayson. The wedding of Iris Hapgood and Ted Bentley took place on the 19th November 1924 – the Minister officiating was Rev. Uren. At the age of 86 and 84 respectively Phyllis and Iris are the oldest living persons from those early pioneer days of the church

Olga Seamer nee Hapgood, 70th Anniversary of Kin Kin Methodist Church, 1986 [1]

I haven’t found any historical photos of the Kin Kin Methodist Church, and I think its significant that the 2021 Pomona Uniting Church Centenary booklet (which covers Pomona, Kin Kin and Cooran Methodist churches) doesn’t have any old photos of the church either. Maybe someone has photos of an old wedding at the church that they can share? I do have an official wedding portrait of Ina Rose Hapgood b1907 wedding to Jim Waddell b1904 in 1929 – they were married at the Kin Kin Methodist church although this is a studio portrait. The Nambour Chronical reported on their wedding and how ” the girl friends of the Bride had adorned the interior of the church with white flowers, greenery, and a floral wedding bell, the last named being suspended over the happy couple at the altar.” [8]

If anyone has photos of the weddings of Clarice Phyllis Hapgood to Charles “Arthur” Johnson in 1921, or of Iris Jane Hapgood to Edward “Ted” Bentley in 1924, or any other Hapgood wedding photos that they are happy to share, please get in touch!


The church was decommissioned in 2022 and is now privately owned – and so there are more recent photos from the real estate ad. The church itself seems to be in good condition in these photos and does not appear to have changed much – the windows are unchanged and the outhouse is still out the back…. [3]

Not everything that happened in the Church was serious though. Olga Seamer nee Hapgood always has a funny anecdote to share, and although she was devoutly committed to her faith for her whole life, she remembers some distractions:

There was the morning the snake settled itself on the rafter directly above the preachers’ head, and we children were always amused by the swallows who came to church and sang there songs as they flew around above our heads.

Olga Seamer, 70th Anniversary of Kin Kin Methodist Church, 1986 [1]


Thanks to Lee Goleby for getting in touch with me looking for early photos and for sharing the 1986 and 2022 booklets, as well as sending the original of William Hapgoods Methodist membership certificate.

Sources:

[1] Olga Seamer. “The Occassion of the 70th Anniversary of Kin Kin Methodist Church, 1876-1986. Shared by Lee Goleby July 2021

[2] Realestate photos of 980 Kin Kin Road, https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-qld-kin+kin-106021509 accessed 8th May 2022

[3] William Hapgood Methodist Church Membership certificate, June 1915. Original sent to Karen Hapgood by Lee Goleby in July 2021.

[4] Hapgood Olga Memoirs, unpublished. See also https://hapgoodsfrommarksbury.blog/2020/07/27/olga-hapgoods-recollections-of-sunshine-valley-farm-at-kin-kin/

[5] Pomona Uniting Church Centenary 1921-2021, booklet published by Pomona Uniting Church 2021.

[6] District News. Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette May 9, 1915. p. 5. Retrieved May 8, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189450214

[7] DISTRICT NEWS.” Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, 16 December 1916, p3. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article187225799

[8] Wedding.” Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 6 December 1929 p9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77302716.

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