Reverend Thomas JohnstonePrint Page Print this page

26-July-2017 (Tom Bird)
26-July-2017 (Tom Bird)

Photographs supplied by Tom Bird / John Huth

The Johnstone Memorial Hall was a built to commemorate the Reverend Thomas Johnstone, who was the Presbyterian minister from 1857 to 1903 and died in 1909.

Johnstone arrived at Sydney in 1857 and was appointed by the Synod of Australia to East Maitland, but was soon called to Armidale, then within the Presbytery of Maitland. He began his ministry on 17 April 1857 and vigorously covered a wide area of New England, including Walcha, Hillgrove, Kilcoy, Wandsworth and Guyra as well as the town and district of Armidale. He described himself as an 'evangelical boundary rider'. He was often absent from home for long periods and annually travelled over 9656 kilometres on horseback.

He baptized more than 3000 infants and joined over 800 couples in marriage. In 1865-76 he was clerk of the Presbytery of New England after the union of the Presbyterian Church in Australia. In 1882 St Paul's Church was built in Armidale.  He continued to live in the old manse after he had gained a colleague, Reverend Peter McQueen, because of his failing health. In 1894 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of St Andrews. In 1903 he became Minister Emeritus. He died at Armidale on 3 February 1909.

The Memorial Hall recently erected at Armidale to perpetuate the memory of the late beloved Dr. Johnstone, whose ministerial work in the district extended over half a century, was formally opened on Wednesday afternoon last, in the presence of a very large assemblage of representative townspeople, says Armidale "Chronicle." The building is erected in Gothic style, to harmonise with the church adjoining. All necessary preparations having been completed for the formal opening, Mrs. Johnstone was presented Mr. B. McKenzie, on behalf of the contractors, with a solid silver V key inscribed as follows: — "Presented to Mrs. Johnstone by W. B. Leckie and Son., builders, on the occasion of the opening of the Johnstone Memorial Hall, 14/8'12."
Manilla Express (NSW),  21 August 1912.


Address:Faulkner Street, Armidale, 2350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.515556
Long: 151.666389
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:W. B. Leckie & Son (Builders)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 14th August, 1912
Front Inscription
Johnstone Memorial Hall
Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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