A PILLAR of Ballarat society in the 1800s will be honoured each year in the Cathedral for which he laid the foundation stone, since the establishment of the annual Archdeacon Stretch Sunday in Ballarat’s Anglican Diocese.
Archdeacon Teodore Carlos Benoni Stretch, known as Archdeacon Stretch, established churches in Ballarat, Geelong and Sale, and is known as the principal founder of Geelong Grammar and served as Archdeacon of Geelong, Ballarat and Sale.
Stretch’s great grandson Bernie Ebbs, in attendance with his own grandchildren, said his family has led the charge in making sure Stretch’s legacy was well known in the congregation.
But it was only by chance he came across the campaign to install a plaque for his forefather.
“I was at the church volunteering with South Street, and I saw his painting. I saw a sign that said ‘if you’re interested in helping refurbish the painting, contact the burser’ so I did and have been involved ever since,” he said.
To mark the great man’s contribution, Bishop Garry Weatherill and two of Stretch’s great great great great grandchildren unveiled the plaque on Sunday, paying tribute to his works.
Paid for by the family after the diocese called for contributions, the plaque stands on the side of the cathedral, and marks both his contribution and the establishment of a day in his honour.
Bishop Weatherill also paid tribute during the service on Sunday.