Ken Blackwell celebrates dual milestones

ken blackwellFriends and family helped Rev Ken Blackwell celebrate his 100th birthday in January at a party in Hobart which also recognised 74 years since ordination.

He received a book on his life as well as greetings from the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Governor General, the Department of Veteran Affairs, many friends and members of his family.

Mr Blackwell was born in Brisbane and attended Eagle Junction Congregational Church with his parents and siblings, and was active in the Christian Endeavour Society.

He trained for the ministry in Melbourne and was ordained at the Toowoomba Congregational Church in January 1942.

In April 1942 he and the late Ruth Cribb married at Milton Congregational Church and they had seven children leading to 19 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.

Mr Blackwell went from Toowoomba to be a Padre in Borneo and then a minister at Ballarat, Adelaide, and Maitland, South Australia, before returning to Queensland for seven years at the Ipswich Central Congregational Church until1966.

In Ipswich Mr Blackwell encouraged Neville Bonner to represent the Indigenous community in federal parliament and Mr Bonner became the first Aboriginal person to win a seat, serving as a Queensland senator for many years.

Early in 1966 the Blackwells moved to the Memorial Congregational Church, in Hobart, followed by the Devonport and Penguin Uniting Churches.

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