Page 5334 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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Special Olympics

St Peter’s Memorial Lutheran church

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.37): I mentioned during the last sitting period in October that ACT Special Olympics were sending 16 athletes and five support staff to Wellington, New Zealand, to participate in the inaugural trans-Tasman Special Olympics tournament in basketball and football. I would like to now congratulate both teams and the officials for a very successful and apparently very enjoyable tournament.

The ACT Special Olympics basketball team won gold in the second division while the ACT Special Olympics football team finished fifth out of 11 teams. They beat Queensland in the opening game and, according to my informant—one of the players, Liam O’Donnell—everyone learned a lot from the tournament and had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and make new friends.

The team left on Wednesday, 2 November and returned late on Sunday, 6 November. By any measure the trip was an outstanding success. The basketball team was coached by James McGill and managed by David Jones. The basketball team members were Peter Bandle, Paul Bell, Biljana Boskov, Matt Bowden, Kyra Corsini, Anthony Costa, Justin Koenig and Jack Littleton.

The football team was coached by Eugene Exposito and managed by Michaela Vergano. They were graded in the first division for the first time and came a very credible fifth. The football team members were Anthony Camilleri, Timothy Cologon, Rhys Hill, Rana Istambouli, Liam O’Donnell, Cherie Roberts, Nicholas Roots and Aidan Vergano. Once again I offer my congratulations to ACT Special Olympics for providing this great opportunity and also to all players and officials for their participation and contributions.

On 30 October I attended the golden jubilee celebrations of the consecration of St Peter’s Memorial Lutheran Church in Reid at the invitation of Pastor Gabor Szabo. The building of St Peter’s Memorial Lutheran Church was dedicated on 10 September 1961, but the congregation was formed more than a decade earlier in 1949. There was a great influx of migrants after World War II, mostly Europeans. Many of them were Germans who came in the late 1940s and during the 1950s.

In May 1949 it was decided that monthly worship services would be held in Canberra for the Latvian, Estonian and German congregations. Many of these migrants worked for the Snowy Mountains Authority scheme and for the Jennings construction company. Soon the Latvians and the Estonians formed their own congregations. Pastor Dr J J Stoltz, who served here in Canberra at the time, started to conduct services in both German and English. Soon there came another influx of Lutheran migrants from Finland. In the 1950s it was envisaged that St Peter’s would serve as a general place of worship for all of these ethnic congregations.

In 1959 at the general church convention in South Australia a national appeal was made to raise funds for the church building and it raised over £20,000. The Australian

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