historic Highlights of the Temple Society Australia
for earlier records refer to Time-Line of the Temple Society
In July 536 Templer Internees are transported by the British Mandate Authorities from Palestine to Australia, where internment continues in a camp near Tatura in Northern Victoria. A camp routine soon develops:
Regular School begins again on 1 October. Sport is practised, Religious Services and Confirmations are held. Many of the ingenious items that were crafted then for daily needs or cultural necessities are still on display at the Tatura Museum. A lending library is set up, music and art cultivated, bands and choirs are formed and theatre productions staged. (see H. Ruff Transported to the end of the World, produced in 1993)
Starting in August some Templers are allowed to leave camp to look for work and fend for themselves
In November the first Templer Circular (consisting of a single page) is produced in Camp and distributed widely
In July the Office of the Temple Society in Australia is moved from the Tatura Camp to Melbourne
Those internees who decided to go to Germany left in late November
With the formation of the State of Israel, a return to Palestine is not an option. An offer from the Australian Government for conditional support of the Templer cause is accepted
Land is purchased in Boronia and subdivided into building blocks for a proposed Boronia Templer Community
In April a house at 39 Central Park Road East Malvern is acquired as an office
On 20 August the Temple Society Australia (TSA) is formed, officially taking the place of the former Palestine organisation
Dr. Richard Hoffmann is elected as Regional Head.
The Regional Council purchases 100 acres of land in Bayswater for a Templer Community Centre.
In December the Boronia Community is formed.
The Bayswater/Boronia Templer School officially commenced in 1952 but was running informally since 1947 in private Templer homes in Bayswater. It holds the unique position of being the oldest, continuously running “Ethnic” German language school in Australia.
Templer Communities are formed in Bayswater, Bentleigh-Moorabbin, Sydney, Tanunda, and Wangaratta
By 1956 the TSA has 1302 active and passive members, of whom 1037 live in Victoria
On 7 September Boronia Hall (the first Templer Community building in Australia) is officially opened
A 9pin Bowling Alley and Tennis Courts are added to the Boronia Community Hall
On 4 April building starts on the Bayswater Hall
A bell-tower is added to the Boronia Hall. The bell (donated by the Stuttgart Community) is first rung for Sunday Service in May, and from then on every Sunday morning at 10am by volunteer bell-ringers
The Bayswater Hall is officially opened on11 June
On 29 October the Temple Society Centenary Celebration is held in the Bayswater Hall
On 22 December the Sydney Community purchases the Meadowbank Church from the Presbyterian Church of Australia
The autonomous Australian and German Templer Regions are linked formally by the appointment of Dr. R. O. Hoffmann as President of the Temple Society
Dietrich P. Ruff is elected Regional Head.
The Templer Home for the Aged opens in Bayswater with 16 beds and 10 self-contained living units. A cross between a retirement village and a nursing home, it soon becomes a focal point for the evolving Templer community
Its first Matron is Margit Wagner
The capacity of the Templer Home for the Aged is increased to 60 residents
Officially opened on 29 November the Tabulam Nursing Home, located next to the Templer Home for the Aged in Elizabeth Street, Bayswater, begins with 30 beds as a joint undertaking with the Australian-German Welfare Society.
In May a Youth Group Club Room and two School Rooms are added to the Bayswater Hall
Felix Haar replaces Dietrich P. Ruff (while his employment took him to Canberra) as Regional Head of the TSA. Felix greatly influences the gradual shift of emphasis from the post-war money/compensation matters back to our religious foundation. He shares many of his spiritual insights in a published series Search for the Hidden Truth – Thoughts on the symbolic Gospel of John in the Templer Record March 1982 to December 1988
Publication of the booklet "The Temple Society - An Overview" compiled and arranged by D P Ruff
Templers in Germany and Australia celebrate 125 years of Temple Society
On 28 September approval is given for a 25 Unit Residential Housing Development for the Elderly on TSA land along Elizabeth Street
Dieter Ruff (returned from Canberra in 1984) is re-elected Regional Head, replacing Felix Haar
Publication of the booklet "The Temple Society -- a brief historical Introduction", arranged by D P Ruff.
Sydney Templers secure several places in the St. Hedwig Homes for the Aged of the Catholic German Community of St. Raphael in Blacktown NSW, opened in 1989.
Dr Richard Hoffmann retires. Dietrich P. Ruff is elected as the new President of the Temple Society
Dr Rolf Beilharz becomes Regional Head of the TSA
Australian-German Templer Exchange started in conjunction with the Goethe Institute
Country Victorian Templer Groups designated. Country Sunday Service is introduced, held by rotation.
The Book written by Paul Sauer in 1985 Uns rief das Heilige Land is translated into English and published as "The Holy Land Called"
The book The Temple Society and its Settlements in the Holy Land is published. An English translation of Christoph Hoffmann's Occident und Orient, Part one; translated by Claire French, Herta Uhlherr and Helga Uhlherr.
The TSA establishes its presence on the Internet with a website at www.vicnet.net.au/~tempsoc on 10 August. Internet Archives include all "Templer Record" publications from that date. URL changed to www.templers.org on 29 July 1999.
The 25 Unit Templer Residential Village in Elizabeth Street is completed and run as a registered Body Corporate
On 1 March the TABULAM AND TEMPLER HOMES FOR THE AGED INC merge into one Aged Care Facility. Over 100 aged people are now cared for in the TTHA Aged Care Facility; with its own website at Tabulam & Templer Homes for the Aged.
The golden booklet "Temple Society -- Religious Perspective" is published simultaneously in Australia and Germany as a joint Statement of Identity, Faith and Practical Concerns.
Dietrich Ruff retires. Peter Lange , Regional Head for the German Templers, is elected as the new President of the Temple Society
The new Temple Chapel in the Bayswater Community Centre, the result of eight years planning, countless discussions and committee meetings, is officially opened on 10 November
Extensive Remodel of the TTHA. facilities.
The 32 bed Otto Löbert Wing is added to TTHA, officially opened in May Named in recognition of Otto's 20 year dedicated service as Chairman of the Committee of Management to the Tabulam Nursing Home. The joint facility with over 100 employees now cares for over 130 people: in "Ageing in Place", Independent Living Units, in Low Care, High Care and Dementia Units
In March the City of Knox approves a TSA Grant application for $18,000 funding over three years, for the design and creation of a Textile Mural depicting the turbulent history of the Templers. Called The Templer Journey it is designed as a triptych, three 1m x 2.5m panels to be hung side by side in the Templer Chapel for display to the wider community.
Dietrich P Ruff (19/4/1924-25/11/2004) passes away on 25 November. A Memorial Booklet was prepared of speeches and tributes, paid to Dieter (as he preferred to be called) at the funeral Service in the Bayswater Chapel on 1 December, and from his many friends and colleges. Dieter served in the capacity of Regional Head from 1970 —- 81 and again from1986 — 88, and as President for the Society from 1988 — 2001. Dieter worked hard at making the Templer Religion understood by others; he initiated the publication of literature, one example being the gold booklet "A Religious Perspective" where the essence of the Templer faith is presented in simple language.
Publication in November of the booklet "Origins of the Temple Society", based on a Seminar Series of the Templer Community Stuttgart. Translated by Peter G Hornung
The Book "Memories of Palestine", Narratives about life in Templers Communities is published in March. The book contains 46 stories from different authors, 544 pages, 60 photographs and maps. Based on and translated from the German book Damals in Palästina by Horst Blaich and Peter Hornung.
On 30 September the TSA, after a long preparation time, adopts a new constitution, dissolving the of the old, traditional community structures, and forming Focus and Interest Groups instead, whose managing circles can make independent decisions, thus relieving the pressure on the Regional Council and the TSA Office
Publication of booklet "The Case of the German Templers in Eretz-Israel", by the TSA Heritage Focus Group in November, as a Supplement to the December Templer Record. Based on "Ideology and Landscape in Historical Perspective" by Yossi Ben-Artzi.
Extensive remodel of TTHA, ($6mil) replacing the original old single story building with a three-tier central structure and increasing again the caring capacity of the Homes.
Peter Lange retires as President of the Temple Society after six years. Peter, with his active association with the "Freihe Christen" group and with his open outlook on religious beliefs, has widened the field of influence of the Temple Society. The annual Stuttgarter Templer Seminars have become synonymous with philosophical insight into religious motivation. His Templer Handbook (published in 1992) is more than a personal testament, a creed to the Temple Society: it has become a ready reference for Elders and for scholars alike into the meaning of the Templer Philosophy.
Dr Rolf Beilharz is elected unanimously as the new President, in place of Peter Lange at the Annual General Assembly.
Mark Herrmann becomes the Regional Head of the TSA, replacing Dr Rolf Beilharz.
29 August, Official Opening of the new Warrina Extension to the TTHA, including a Family Clinic and Hair-dresser Salon. The Homes now cater for 130 Residents. The Hon. Chris Pearce MP Federal Member for Aston unveiled a commemorative Plaque. The same Meeting said Farewell to retiring TTHA CEO, Dr Martin Schreiber, after a 20 year creative management of the Homes, and Welcome to the new CEO, Johannes Achilles..
August 29. Official unveiling and Launch in the Templer Community Chapel Bayswater of the Textile Mural "Templer Journey -- Fabric of Society" and its Companion Book "An Embroidered History". The "Templer Journey" is a pictorial representation of the turbulent history of the Templers from their inception in the 1850s, their attempts at Utopia in the Holy Land and the Templer Diaspora to the four corners of the globe to the present. The triptych Wall-Hanging was started in 2004 with a generous three-year grant under the Knox City Council Community Development Plan and involved hundreds of Volunteers and many thousand hours of community work. The Hon James Merlino MP, State Member for Monbulk Minister for Sport, Recreation, Youth Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs representing the Victorian Government, and Cr Adam Gill (Dinsdale Ward) for the City of Knox, officiated at the Launch.
The Wall-Hanging will eventually become a permanent part of the Templer Community Chapel. The Companion Book can be purchased from the Temple Society Australia Office.
April 3. The Temple Society's 150 Anniversary Celebration gets underway with a historic combined Service between Melbourne - Sydney - Stuttgart. Through the marvel of modern technology and the dogged persistentance of the organisers (who struggled to accomodate the time-differences), the event was a decided success and had a powerful effect. Greetings were exchanged, and amids sequential singing it was reportedly very moving – there were some quiet tears.
A TS150 Jubilee Edition of the Templer Record is issued in June with the theme: Facing the Future -- reflecting the Past. The Jubilee edition is an attempt to highlight the evolving Templer philospophy over the Temple Society's 150 year existence.
On 5 March the Temple Society Australia's new website: www.templesociety.org.au is opened to the public. The old TSA site www.templers.org continues to be active until the transfer is completed
Further information may be obtained from TEMPLE SOCIETY AUSTRALIA
Melbourne: Office of the TSA 152 Tucker Road Bentleigh VIC 3204 Tel: (03) 9557 6713
Fax: (03) 9557 7943; e-mail email@example.com .
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6 March 2012