Obituary: Euan Fry (the Good News Man)

Obituary: Euan Fry (the Good News Man)

In 1988 the Australian edition of the Good News Bible was published by the Bible Society in Australia.

This edition was a first: it was typeset, printed and bound locally, and used Australian English.

It was a tribute to mark 200 years of European settlement.

Images of gum leaves covered the end pages and many superb paintings by Australian artists added to Annie Vallotton’s wonderful line drawings.

Two dozen copies were donated by the Bible Society for use in the new Parliament House at its opening.

This production had been the vision of the Rev. Euan Macgregor Fry, the Secretary of the Bible Society’s Translations Department from 1967 to 1988.

Euan grew up in Melbourne and taught secondary science.

Answering a call from Methodist Overseas Missions, he and his young family moved to the Rabaul area in PNG. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry, completed a BD and was ordained in PNG in 1963.

Euan saw the value of people having scriptures in their own language and spent 1966 working on Old Testament translation into Tinata Tuna, the language spoken around Rabaul. His outstanding abilities in linguistics and communication were noticed and he was appointed Secretary of the new Translations Division of the Bible Society in Australia in 1967.

In this role he encouraged and assisted scripture translation projects in Australian Aboriginal languages and also in PNG and the Pacific. These projects ranged from Bible comics and “new reader” booklets to gospels and complete Bibles.

He conducted many workshops training the local indigenous translators and played a major role in setting up the Australian Kriol and Vanuatuan Bislama Bible projects. These Bibles are now complete.

He had a wonderful capacity to communicate very complex concepts in simple language.

After his retirement in 1988, Euan continued to edit periodicals and write handbooks for Bible translators. He also enjoyed building and then playing his organ, his weaving loom, and valve radios, as well as gardening.

Euan and his wife Jean continued to live in Canberra and for some years have been involved in the home church movement.

He died suddenly, in his garden, on March 1, 2011, aged 77 years.

Contributed by Canberra Region Presbytery

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