John William, son of John and Agnes (née Howe) Prowse, was born in 1878 at Weering. By 1890 his parents had taken up farming at Layard.
John became a Barrabool Shire councillor in 1916 and served until 1950 including six terms as president in 1923, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1937 and 1946.
He married Mary Hammond in 1902. They had the following children at Mount Moriac:
Margaret Agnes — born 1902
Dorothy Irene — born 1904
John William Garnard — born 1906, died 17 August 1985 aged 79, buried in the Church of England section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery
Alma Milford — born 1908
Mary died on 19 October 1918 and was buried in the Church of England section of the Mount Moriac Cemetery. John died on 30 October 1951 at Geelong and was buried with Mary.
The former Bible Christian Siloam Chapel built in 1858 in Considines Road Modewarre, is the earliest known Bible Christian Chapel in Victoria, and only one of three known surviving former Bible Christian Chapels in the state. The Bible Christian Church was brought to South Australia through emigrant Cornish miners, and soon spread to Victoria. The Modewarre church became a centre for temperance lectures in the district with speakers from the Geelong Band of Hope. 1 January 1902 saw the re union of the five separate and competing sections of the Methodist Church throughout the Commonwealth of Australia. The parent body, the Wesleyan Methodists were joined with the Primitive Methodists, United Methodist Free Churches, Bible Christians and the New Connexion to form "The Methodist Church of Australasia".
The Band of Hope was founded in United Kingdom in 1847 and established in Australia by 1860 during a time when excessive drinking among adults was common, adding to the problems of poor living conditions and health, and maltreatment of children and child mortality. Alcohol was freely available to children. The organisation had a policy of education particularly with the young. Many Bands of Hope were associated with Churches and Sunday Schools. The Band of Hope targeted children of parents who wanted their children to be educated and have a secure future. It was seen by many adults as a way to develop self-reliant working men who could use temperance as a route to self improvement.
To encourage children to join and remain members, groups held annual outings, tea meetings, offered music lessons, established orchestras and produced newspapers whose content promoted temperance. Meetings began with a temperance hymn, prayers and the chairman's speech, this was followed by music, recitations, readings and pledge signing.
Queen Victoria became patron in 1897, the Jubilee year, and several celebrations were held. In some ways it could be said that the success of the Band of Hope caused its own decline. As alcohol misuse became less of a problem and as legislation improved there seemed to be less need to work so fervently in this area.
The old bluestone school at Modewarre is just up the Cape Otway Road near the corner of Considines Road. On the opposite corner of Considines and Batsons Roads Henry Lawrence operated a store and post office from 1861 which he upgraded in bluestone in 1864. The store was replaced by Lawrence's son, George, in about 1900, after the earlier building had been destroyed by fire in 1899. This building survives at Modewarre today.
Modewarre Memorial Hall Cape Otway Road, starting at 12:15 Anzac Day.
The Unveiling of plaques for 33 WW1 servicemen (including Australia's first Victoria Cross recipient, Captain Albert Jacka, who lived nearby at Layard); a short history of the Avenue of Honour by noted historian Roger Southern; a demonstration by the Geelong Military Re-enactment Group; and a display of WW1 artefacts, memorabilia and the servicemen's registration papers.
Family, friends and community are invited to attend.
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