Interviewee: Fr Brian Charles Newing
Date of Birth: 20 March1939
Interviewer: Lynn Lee
Date of Interview: 30 March 2010
Synopsis: Elaine Gorddard
BOHG No: 2010-001
Total Length: 2 hours 53 minutes
Born 20th March 1939. Kununoppin Hospital.
William Leonard Newing. b.12th December 1909 Hackington Kent.
Annie Thorpe b. 22nd June 1914 Cheshire England
Married in Fremantle 11th January 1936
First lived at Wialki, then moved to Tambellup 1944
Siblings – John, 1936. Brian 1939. Peter 1941
First school was at Tambellup. High School was also at Tambellup
Left school at the age of 14 to work on the farm
Early childhood memories:
Jobs around the farm, milking a couple of cows each day, feeding the pigs, checking rabbit traps. Loved the farming life, especially the animals.
Stooking hay was something he liked.
Sunday was a day of rest, but always time for a game of cricket with other members of the family and friends.
Played hockey and cricket in Tambellup. Joined the cricket team at the age of 11.
Joined Junior Farmers at the age of 14. Became Club President at 17.
Team leader of the Junior Farmers debating team and was very successful in that both at Club and State level.
Shyness was not a problem when doing his debating as it was well prepared.
Coached the women’s hockey team in Jeramungup to six premierships.
First date with Judith was 13th March 1965 – went to Evensong.
Married January 1968. St Michaels in Graylands
Judith 20 Brian 28
Paul 5th January 1970; Allison 23 March 1972; Louise 21 November 1974
Used to go to Evensong at St. Mary’s Tambellup and at the age of 21-22, things started to stir in his life.
By the age of 24 had made up his mind to enter the ministry.
July 1963 had interviews in Perth for three years study.
Ordained at St Boniface in 1967 by Bishop Ralph Hawkins
Went to Jeramungup October 1967. First residential priest for that area
Jeramungup was War Service settlements and Conditional Land settlement area.
Was a travelling ministry, and spent many hours travelling to the different areas for services in parish churches of a weekend. Teaching in the schools and visiting the people of the area.
Drought started in 1968 and no rain until 1971 with many walking off their farms.
At Christmas delivered food parcels and gifts to the farmers who had nothing.
A lot of tragedies that took place during those times
Churches built at South Stirling, The church of the Good Shepherd, and Wellstead during the time at Jeramungup.
Stayed 6 years at Jeramungup then transferred to Pinjarra in 1974.
Next move was to Corrigin for 18 months servicing – Corrigin, Kondinin, Hyden, Kulin Yealering
Then to Brunswick Junction
Made Canon of St Boniface Cathedral in 1974.
Made Archdeacon and Diocesan Administrator in 1991 and moved to Cross Street Bunbury, and there for 14 years
Regular St John Ambulance driver at Jeramungup and Pinjarra
Became involved with Anglicare in 1989. Chairman in Bunbury and on the board in Perth.
Involved with Wattle Hill lodge retirement home. Founded by Norman Dorsett 1970 and is still involved with the planning and chaplaincy
Was involved with the early planning stages of Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. Became board member of the school in 1980 and Life Member in 2003.
Initial committee of Community Policing when it first started in Bunbury 1980.
Was on the state Executive for some time.
1986 Constable Care was introduced. And Brian still involved going to schools around the State with that.
Became involved with Mission to Seamen in 1990, Chairman and Chaplain.
1999 was awarded Bunbury Citizen of the year.
Asked to be on an Ethics Committee about seven years ago (2003?), a research team looking at ethics and effects in decision making in the community.
Prison Chaplaincy in Bunbury started in 2003.
2008 awarded OAM (Order of Australia Medal)
First started drinking November 1967, after a funeral in Jeramungup. Being one with the community and friendship. Drinking with friends made him feel he belonged.
Christmas time 1978 while in Pinjarra alcohol addiction came to a head.
Confronted by the Bishop and forced to rehabilitation. Never has had a drink since – 30 years ago.
Never lost his faith while going through his addiction. Was always able to conduct his meetings and services. Always had trust in God.
Had treatment through the Ord Street Hospital as an outpatient, while still Parish Priest at Pinjarra.
As a prison chaplain, is able to run the AA meetings there. Hereby helping those prisoners with their addiction and rehabilitation.
Developed Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1974 following the birth of Louise. Weeks in Shenton Park Hospital.
Myastenia Gravis diagnosed in 1985 – five months in RPH and Shenton Park hospitals
2004 liver cancer 2/3 of the liver removed, but thankfully has remained free from cancer to this date.