Five Dock–Drummoyne Congregation
of the Uniting Church in Australia

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Our Heritage

Five Dock was named after five small inlets on the Parramatta River. Surgeon John Harris was granted the area but it was not settled till 1836 when Samuel Lyons bought it and subdivided.

Drummoyne was named in the 1840s after an area in Scotland by William Wright who built a house there.

Both are presently suburbs of the City of Canada Bay.


Five Dock Uniting Church building

The first church in the area was the Anglican Church of St Albans.

Wesleyan services commenced at Five Dock in 1862 in the home of Samuel Lyons.

The first Methodist Church opened in Lyons Rd in 1866, however attendances fluctuated and the site was sold in 1880. The foundation stone of the Lyons Road building is set in the present Uniting Church and the original Bible is also displayed there.

A second church site was purchased in Garfield St in 1891 and was opened in 1898. A church hall was added in 1922. The foundation stone for an enlarged church was laid in 1939 and includes stone from Wesley's church in London brought back to Australia by the Rev. Alan Walker. This stone is now displayed in the foyer.

The church joined the Uniting Church in 1977 and a remodelling project was completed in 2006.


Drummoyne Uniting Church building

The first Methodist meetings were held in Drummoyne in 1886 and a church opened in 1888 on what is now Victoria Rd. The present church in College St was opened in 1910 and its pipe organ installed in 1928. The church was remodelled in the 1940s. A parsonage was purchased in 1960.

The congregations decided to join with Five Dock in 1998 but a separate Rotuman congregation meets regularly at Drummoyne.

The church maintains its own historical collection and always welcomes new material.


Drummoyne Rotuman Congregation

This history was prepared for the Service of Worship
celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Drummoyne Rotuman Congregation

held on Sunday 21st May 2006

In December 1972 the first Rotuman Church Service was held at Hornsby at the time when the Suva Rotuman Church Choir toured Australia. The few Rotumans at that time continued to worship at Wesley Central Mission (WCM) (known then as Central Methodist Mission), with other Pacific Island Congregations once a month.

In 1973 Rev Jone Langi was appointed by the Methodist Church in Fiji in consultation with the Methodist Overseas Mission, as the Pacific Islands Minister in Sydney. Membership of the Rotuman Congregation in Sydney steadily grew and they were holding more regular church services at the Mission. On Rev Langi's departure after his term of ministry, a Tongan Minister, Rev Mahe, and then a Samoan Minister, Rev Fato'ese Auva'a, ministered to the Pacific Island Congregations.

Meanwhile, the Rotuman Congregation's membership had grown further and they felt that worshipping once a month is inadequate for its spiritual growth. So through John Mataere and his family who were long-time members of the Drummoyne Congregation, negotiations began with the Drummoyne Anglo Congregation and the Drummoyne-Five Dock Parish for the Rotuman Congregation to hold church services at Drummoyne on three Sundays. This began in 1982. A request was then made by the WCM to the Fiji Methodist Conference for a Rotuman minister to be sent to Sydney to minister to the Rotumans. The Fiji Methodist Conference in conjunction with WCM and Presbytery, appointed Rev Voi Taukave to be the minister for the Rotumans in Sydney; and reporting to the Superintendent of WCM.. Rev Taukave and his family arrived in Sydney in August 1987.

In April 1990 the congregation decided to hold three services at Drummoyne and one at WCM. At this time the whole WCM complex including Wesley Chapel in which the group worshipped was demolished for redevelopment and the Mission moved to rented premises in George St (opposite the Hoyts Theatre). It was later agreed at a meeting in May 1990 that Rev Voi Taukave would be the pastoral leader for the group worshiping at Drummoyne and the group still remaining at WCM would be under the pastoral care of Rev Gordon Moyes.

In September 1990 negotiations began with Five Dock-Drummoyne Parish Council for the Rotuman group worshipping at Drummoyne to use the church premises every Sunday. Further meetings between Five Dock-Drummoyne Parish Council, Presbytery, NSW Synod and the Rotuman group were held regarding the use of Drummoyne church and in November 1990, ‘approval' was given for the Rotumans to hold all Sunday services at Drummoyne church.

Rev Voi Taukave's term of ministry in Sydney was to finish at the end of March 1991 and a request by the Rotumans to have it extended for a further 2 years was not accepted by WCM. Rev Voi and family left in 1991. Contact was then made with Rev Bruce Noble, the minister for the Five Dock-Drummoyne Parish at the time, regarding the use of the Drummoyne Church as a full time place of worship for the Rotumans. At the departure of Rev Taukave, the Rotumans at Drummoyne continued to worship as a Fellowship at Drummoyne, with the guidance of its own lay preachers and under the umbrella of the Uniting Church.

In the meantime, WCM in conjunction with the Fiji Methodist Conference and Presbytery, appointed another Rotuman minister, Rev Fesaitu Marseu to replace Rev Voi Taukave. Much discussion and negotiation took place between, Presbytery, Synod, WCM and the Rotuman Congregation and in April 1992 Presbytery of Sydney officially affirmed the Rotuman Group at Drummoyne as a separate entity (Fellowship).

Negotiations between the Rotuman Fellowship and Synod began a few years later to take one step further and have the Fellowship become a Congregation. In discussion and liaisons with the Uniting Church authorities, a Steering Committee was formed headed by Carolyn Kitto to submit recommendations and findings regarding the move towards becoming a congregation. (NB. The Rotuman Fellowship identified the areas of need as being: pastoral care, spiritual growth, youth growth, family prayer meetings, and increase in membership).

Eventually on 26 May 1996 the Drummoyne Rotuman Fellowship officially became the Drummoyne Rotuman Congregation in the Uniting Church of Australia . Rev Voi Taukave was invited by the Rotuman Congregation as the guest preacher at the Inauguration Service. Rev Bruce Noble was the Minister of the Parish at the congregation's Inauguration.

Once we became a Congregation, the opportunities opened up and we had a better understanding of each other and of our different ways and culture, and the principles of the Uniting Church through the guidance and discussion process led by Synod, Presbytery, and Five Dock-Drummoyne Parish.

When we step out in faith, God steps in and takes over if we completely place our trust in him. And faith is a gift that increases with use. And to quote one famous line that my brother, the late Rev Dr Jone Langi always says: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And you know, the glory of the Lord is that he succeeds where others fail. God's love, mercy and grace is unconditional and unending.

So we have come to the first 10-year milestone. We have journeyed through thick and thin, through good times and bad times, through tears and laughter, and the journey doesn't end here. There's still a lot to be done in the years ahead but we are confident that we will overcome any obstacles for if God is with us, who can be against us.

Rejiele Clayton
Chairperson, Drummoyne Rotuman Congregation