News & Events

Volunteer Week Profile Rev. Ian Collings

May 10, 2016

During National Volunteer Week (9-15 May) OCAV pays tribute to Uniting Church Minister Rev. Ian Collings for his faithful service to the residents at Rushall Park.

More than a decade ago Uniting Church Minister Ian Collings was asked to conduct an ANZAC Day service at Rushall Park. Every year he comes back on April 25, runs the service and is honoured to be among the 50 or more men and women who attend each year. Some are highly decorated returned servicemen and women and others want to pay their respects.

Many of those who come to the service have their own treasured memories of fathers or brothers. Ian’s thoughts turn to his father who served with the British Army during World War One and of the returned soldiers he has met and prayed with and for over the years, particularly during a stint as an Army Chaplain in the 1970s. An RSL member himself, Ian did National Service with the Air Force during the Korean War in the 1950s.

The ANZAC Day services have made him feel a part of the small inner-city retirement village, even though he has never worked in a parish in the area.

He does it each year because someone asked him a long time ago.

Ian, 83, is semi-retired but currently services the Uniting Church community at Keilor. He has been ordained almost 50 years and has no plans for full retirement.

“My ministry is a vocation, not a job and you just keep doing it as long as you can,” he said.

Each ANZAC Day as part of his commitment to the folks at Rushall Park, Ian arranges for the donated wreath from Joseph Allison Funeral Directors in Essendon who also print the order of service. He prepares a reflection and prayers each year.

Once he finishes the morning service at Rushall Park he heads to a couple of other retirement villages and conducts a service for those residents.

Ian plans on being back at Rushall Park in 2017 and OCAV honours him for his contribution to the life of the village on this important day each year.

Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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