CALDWELL Sara Jane (nee Hackney)

born: 1835 Dublin, Ireland
died: 27 March 1921, Mount Gambier, South Australia

Father:  Andrew Hackney

Spouse:  Robert Alexander Caldwell

Born and raised in Dublin, Sara married Robert Alexander Caldwell in 1858 and arrived in Mount Gambier with her husband in 1864.  Within a short time, she gained the esteem and affection of the people of Mount Gambier and entered fully into their social and religious life.  She especially identified with St. Andrew’s Church Choir, and when it was decided to introduce a small organ, she took charge of it and led the singing till the present large organ was presented to the church, she retired in favour of a professional organist.  She also took charge of the senior girls’ class in the Sunday-school, and she was one of the founders of the Ladies’ Benevolent Society and held the position of President until her death.  A memorial service was held in St. Andrew’s Church with Miss Hay the Organist. The Preacher was the Rev. James Cully, B.A.

On 20 July 1910 the Border Watch reports on the unveiling of the stained-glass windows, donated by Mrs. Caldwell in memory of her late husband the Rev. R.A. Caldwell.  Their description of the windows are as follows:
The window is a beautiful and high-class work of art and a credit to the makers.  The panels which contain the pictures are each about 4 ft. long.  That in the western half of the window shows the Saviour as the Good Shepherd, with a lamb folded in his arms, and a crook in the other hand.  Alongside is another sheep, presumably the mother of the lamb.  A striking feature of this picture is the benevolent beauty of the Saviours’s face. Below the panel are the words, also in stained glass- “In memory of Robert Alexander Caldwell, minister of this Church for 45 years. Died October 13, 1900, aged 81 years. This window was presented by his loving window”.   The subject of the picture in the eastern panel is Christ as the Light of the World, and it follows closely Helman Hunt’s famous painting. The Saviour, wearing a crown of gold, holds in his left hand a lantern and with his right is knocking at a door.   Beneath it is the inscription “Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord henceforth.   Yea, saith the Spirit for the do rest from their labours and their works do follow them- Rev XIV 13.  Underneath that text are the words- “He being dead yet speaketh”.

Above the panels the window space is filled in with chaste ornamentation. The coloring is delightful and appropriate.  Red, blue, green, and orange prevail.

Resources: 
Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 -1954), Tuesday 29 March 1921, page 2
St. Andrew’s 70 Historical review souvenir: St. Andrew’s 100 book.
State Library of South Australia, Mrs Robert Caldwell outside of Presbyterian Manse at Mount Gambier [B3084]

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