The Rev. Garland James Dillon 1908-2011
Garland Dillon (Gar) was born at Kingaroy in Queensland on July 15, 1908. He died on April 15 2011 at Marsfield.
He was 102 and at the time of his death was the oldest surviving Uniting Church minister.
Having completed schooling at 15 years of age he attended a Christian Endeavour Convention at which he experienced the call of God to ministry.
His pre-college training was at the Evangelists Institute at the Central Methodist Mission. He served at Murrurundi as a Home Missionary and entered Leigh Theological College and his probationary ministry began at Milton in 1934.
Gar was ordained in 1936.
The appointments in which he served were Milton, Carlton, Culcairn, Kensington, Castle Hill, Millthorpe, Corowa, Bellingen, Casino, Maitland, Balmain, Drummoyne, Marrickville, Elanora and supply ministry at Baulkham Hills.
His leadership in the drug and alcohol movement in the Temperance Alliance arose from his experience in ministering to homes broken by abuse. The Alliance commissioned him to research and write the book A Delusion of the Australian Culture : A Brief History of the Clash with Alcohol in New South Wales 1788-1983 and he was the editor of the drug awareness publication Tempo.
At a time when a movement began towards renewal of church architecture, his interest led him to rebuild sanctuaries to emphasise the centrality of the cross and sacraments.
His wife, Enid, and family, Rae, Donald and Laurel, played active roles in his ministry.
His versatility as a faithful and effective parish minister was remarkable as the church appointed him to a variety of communities.
He held together a strong balance between his faithful Christ-centred, Bible-based proclamation of the gospel and his passion for justice in social care and action.
The Uniting Church honours this long-lived father of the church and is enriched by his remarkable life and ministry.
The Rev. Les Pearson