In the aftermath of South Geelong Uniting Church closing in 2014, congregation members sought to create an ongoing legacy for the church community.
A South Geelong memorial scholarship was soon identified as an apt gesture from the church community in the local area.
Being sold under the Uniting our future program, South Geelong was allocated income replacement funds, some of which will go towards funding the scholarship in perpetuity. The remainder of the funds were put towards various community support initiatives.
Scholarship committee members Joanne Storrar, Rev Bob Ross and Ric Killick, say the scholarship will financially assist students as they transition from primary to secondary school.
“The closure of the church brought with it a strong desire to create a legacy that would permanently express the profound, deep, devoted Christian commitment of 144 years,” Mr Killick said.
Students who excel in a range of criteria including academic aptitude and team spirit will be awarded the scholarships each year.
The memorial scholarship was officially launched at a music event, arranged by Rev Ikani Vaitohi, late last year at the East Geelong Uniting Church.
The musical afternoon included choirs from Bellarine Probus, Victorian Freemasons and the Des Camm jazz band.
More than 250 people attended the event including students from the East Geelong Primary School who were awarded the first round of scholarships.
Members of the scholarship committee presented the certificates and publicly congratulated the students.
Mr Killick said the congregation was glad to have initiated something positive following the closure of the church.
“The closure of the South Geelong church was certainly not considered as an event that could possibly generate any delight or purposeful satisfaction,” he said.
“However, at the launch, when one observed the sheer joy that these scholarships generated, it brought to mind the biblical quote ‘the Lord will direct a guiding path with purpose and meaning to those that never allow their belief to falter’.”