Fifty years of Nits

Members of 'The Nits' celebrate 50 years of friendshipBack in the 1960s, St John’s Presbyterian (now Uniting) Church in Essendon was awash with teenagers, many of whom were active in what was then the PFA (Presbyterian Fellowship of Australia).

Fifty years have passed since nine of those PFA members, then known collectively as ‘The Nits’ (corruption of ‘Knights’), presented a one-off concert in the church hall on 1 April, 1966. Original members of The Nits, Keith Howden and Geoff Willis, remember the hard work and fun that was shared by this special group of friends.

“We wrote our own drama and comedy scripts, and practised skits and musical items for many weeks before performing,” Mr Howden said. “We shared our efforts with a full house of friends we’d made through youth/church events across Melbourne and elsewhere.”

Every April Fools’ Day since then, the group has managed to gather at different venues to share a meal and reminiscence. On 1 April this year they will gather for a remarkable milestone – their 50th reunion will take place back at St Johns in Essendon.

Most of the members of the friendship group have continued a lifelong commitment in the faith community.

“Of the nine original members, three became ministers (one Uniting, one Church of Christ and one Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia), one a church organist and one chairperson of an inner suburban UC Congregation. Two members now live interstate with just one still in Essendon,” Mr Willis said.

The Nits would be pleased to hear from others they once knew, through their church and PFA/MYF connections. Anyone interested should contact Keith Howden (03 9410 9808) or Rowland Ward (03 9720 4871).

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