100 Blog Posts
This blog post is number 100 for our ACW Herstory Blog, which means our blog will celebrate its 2nd birthday in four weeks. How quickly this time seems to have passed, and we’ve barely scratched the surface in mining our records. Who would have thought that we had so many stories to tell of Australian Church Women (ACW) and the members who have played a significant part in the life of our beloved ACW? What better way to mark our 100th post than to honour another of our remarkable women?
Born 9 March 1924, died 15 July 1980
Here is the original tribute to Joyce Pope in the ACW Memorial Bursary Record, now known as the Honouring Australian Church Women Book. It was compiled by Cora Connell of the Queensland Unit of ACW.
“We are here to celebrate the completion of a life!”
‘This announcement introduced the service that was held in the Uniting Church, Hawthorne, Brisbane to mark the passing of our dearly loved Joyce Pope. It was an instant reminder of St Paul’s "I have finished the course." “And”, the minister continued, “difficult though it is for many of you, we are going to worship God because of the completion of Joyce Pope’s life.”
‘It was difficult because so many who had come to the service were finding it almost unbelievable that Joyce, in so short a time had actually passed beyond our sight, sound and contact. She had shared with some of us on Friday in the Fellowship Day Service in the City Salvation Army Temple, and with others on Sunday in the Worship Service. Although in apparently good health on Friday and Sunday, Joyce contracted a particularly severe virus which, by Monday morning, meant hospitalisation. And then in the small hours of Tuesday morning, she quietly slipped away to be with her Lord for ever – her life here completed.
‘Yet, in the hearts of all those whose life she touched, Joyce lives on, for she was truly “special”. Something of the Christian grace and winsomeness that was Joyce was integrated over the years into all she did through A.C.W. for her Lord, and though her physical presence will be greatly missed, its fragrance will linger on to remind and challenge.
‘Joyce became known nationally as a vital member of the Australian Church Women Working Committee (located in Queensland 1971–72) when she discharged her duties enthusiastically and efficiently as “overseer” of the Winifred Kiek Scholarship. During those years and from then onwards, Joyce maintained a lively interest in the holders of the scholarship. She endeared herself to them by her countless acts of thoughtfulness and consideration and by her continuing concern as they returned to their homes better equipped to serve in their various spheres of Christian activity. It was a special delight to her to receive letters from former W.K. scholars with up-to-date news which she could pass on at the Unit’s monthly meetings.
‘Since the “Working Committee experience”, Joyce has filled other offices, continuing her involvement with the State Unit. In recent years she has been a most diligent secretary, and at the time of her death was the Unit’s treasurer.
‘A lively sense of humour, a sensitive, warm love and understanding, coupled with conscientious efficiency, characterised all Joyce’s dealings and she left the stamp of that character on the offices she filled.
‘In recent years, Joyce endured an arthritic condition which severely affected both her hands and her feet and which would have deterred many a lesser person from active involvement in Christian affairs, but Joyce made no concession to her painful disability. She even applied herself more rigorously to her many and various tasks, using her bright intelligence to quip back at sympathisers, “It’s only my body that’s arthritic not my mind!”
‘Over the years Joyce became very dear and the experiences shared are now indeed precious memories – the “fun times”, the “quiet times”, the “crisis times”, the “problem times” – all now are cherished not in an impassive, apathetic manner, for her completed life is a challenge to all who knew and loved her to “do better” for the sake of the Kingdom.
‘A.C.W. pays its tribute to the life of one who “completed the course”.’
If you have a better-quality photo of Joyce Pope, it would be greatly appreciated if ACW could be permitted to use it on our website.