Tom Reuther is GJ Rechner’s great grandson. He is a fount of information about Light Pass, and his memories from his childhood there are a joy to listen to. And very funny as well! He is an engaging (and sometimes cheeky) storyteller and covers topics from the length of the prayers in church (too long – according to young Tom – “there were many places I thought an “Amen” could have been inserted”), to wedding celebrations, the races and school life. The recordings are short, and full of interest – you will love them!
Before you immerse yourself in listening to Tom’s fabulous memories, here’s a little bit about the man himself…
Tom was born in Beenleigh, Qld, in 1929, but he spent most of his childhood years in Light Pass, growing up there in the 30’s and 40’s. He was the son of Pastor ‘Bert’ Reuther, who served in the Light Pass parish from 1936-67. This continued a long line of Rechner pastors at Light Pass, lasting over 100 years (apart from a six-year gap in the early 30’s). Bert’s grandfather, Pastor GJ Rechner, was the first pastor at Strait Gate congregation, serving for almost 40 years. Bert’s step-brother (and GJ Rechner’s grandson) Pastor JJ Stolz followed from 1900 until 1930. Bert came in 1936, and remained until he retired in 1967.
Having come from such a long lineage of pastors, it is not surprising that Tom also became a pastor. Over the years of his ministry, he served in a variety of places and positions – in schools (both as a chaplain and a principal) and aged care homes, in remote parishes, as the inaugural National Director for Lutheran Schools, and on many Boards and Committees. In 2006 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the church in education and aged care. He married Una Habermann in 1957, and they have 3 daughters.
Tom and his family have a passionate interest in Rechner Cottage and Light Pass. Now 92, in his spare time Tom has been busily translating GJ Rechner’s diaries from German into English. And, we hope, doing some more podcasts…
Life in and around Light Pass in the 30’s and 40’s
At the races
The Willows Hospital
The Strait Gate Manse
World War II