Who was Nellie Payne?

Prayer stall carved in 1930 for Mrs S. Ayton, Holy Trinity Church, North Hobart.


The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Monday 31 March 1930, page 3

Yesterday morning at Holy Trinity a service was held at which the rector (Archdeacon Blackwood) dedicated a fine carved stall and dais in memory of the late Susan Ann Ayton. The Bishop’s faculty for the dedication was read by Rev. W. R. Barrett, Warden of Christ College, and Rev. E. C. Spink assisted in the service, reading the epistle.

The stall is a very handsome addition to the furnishings of Holy Trinity. It consists of a prayer desk and seat, of upright design, supported by columns and finishing in a semi-circle above. The panels on the sides and front of the prayer desk are beautifully carved, depicting intertwined glastonbury thorn and berries.

The inscription, carved on the front, reads: “To the glory of God and in memory of Susan Ayton, 24/1/28.”

The stall is erected on a commodious dais, situated between the choir stalls and the nave, running the whole width of the chancel.

The work is carried out in Tasmanian blackwood, and reflects great credit upon the designer and carver, Mrs. C. Payne, and the cabinetmaker. Mr. G. Triffitt. Mr. A. P. Mc Elwee was responsible for the dais.

The occasional sermon was preached by Archdeacon Blackwood, who referred to the happy incidence of the dedication taking place on Mothering Sunday. The late Mrs. Ayton was above all else, he said, a good mother, one of God’s saints. He referred to her gentleness, her home influence, reflected in her fine family, her interest in the Mothers’ Union, her work for St. Margaret’s Mission and its mothers’ meetings, and her work as a district visitor. She had been associated with Holy Trinity for 45 years. The secret of her life was her genuine piety, her love for her Lord, and her loyalty to His Church. She was indeed a “Mother in Israel” to the parish, and well might the words used of Dorcas be applied to her, “This woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did.”