John Stanley Low
Born at Bristol, Gloustershire UK on 12th January 1833, the son of James Low and Mary Stanley.
He arrived in Melbourne, Australia on 7th February 1852. On 6th July 1856 he was ordained Deacon of the Church of England (now the Anglican Church in Australia) by Dr Perry, Bishop of Melbourne at St James's Old Cathedral.
He was Curate at St Paul's Geelong during 1856 to 1858 and it was during this time and at this church that he married his first wife, Harriett Constable on 13th May 1857. He was priested on 19th September 1858 and became the Minister of Taradale (a gold mining town 100 km North West of Melbourne) from 1859 to 1864. It was during his ministry in the goldfields that his first wife, died in 1860. She is buried in the Malmsbury Cemetery.
After his term at Taradale he returned to Melbourne where he was the Vicar of St Mary's Caulfield (a suburb of Melbourne) for three years. He was appointed Vicar of Christ Church St Kilda (a seaside suburb of Melbourne) in 1868 where he remained until 1904.
He married Mary Mansfield at Christ Church Hawthorn (an inner suburb of Melbourne) on 7th May 1861. The marriage produced nine children of which four of the six daughters died at infancy or at an early age. The two first children, daughters were born in Tarradale.
His three sons were John Wilberforce Stanley, Hedley Walford and Vernon Foster Stanley. John Wilberforce Stanley (Cuthbert's Father), died aged 37;Hedley Walford moved to Perth and lived into his 80's; Vernon Foster Stanley married Hilda Wright, lived in Sydney and died in his mid-eighties. Of the two daughters who survived childhood, Salina Emma Maud died in her mid-twenties and Irene Constance Ella cared for her Mother in her last year.
John Stanley Low was appointed Senior Chaplain to the Victorian Military Forces in 1879 and Rural Dean of South Melbourne in 1887. These were the days before the Federation of the States of Australia - each State having its own armed services.
At the age of 51 he returned to the United Kingdom on the "Nizam". The visit is described in his own words in the family bible:
"May 14th 1882, preached in the church of St John the Evangelist, Clifton near Bristol.
What may well be described as a working holiday? St Germain en Laye is now a western suburb of Paris approximately 19km down the left bank of the Sienne.
July 23rd 1882 commenced ministerial work, under licence from the Bishop of London, at St Germain au Laye, Paris.
November 12th 1882 preached my first sermon at Oxford in the Church of St Martin being the Mayor's Day."
The significance of having preached on the Mayor's Day is that St Martins is the first of Oxford's city churches. (The church at which the City Council are expected to worship). Other than the tower that still stands as a landmark, the church was demolished in 1896. Refer http://www.headington.org.uk/oxon/mayors/city_church/stmartins.htm
John Low died on 4th November 1914 at 25 Airlie Street South Yarra.
Irene Constance Ella Low married Courtney Stainer a Captain in the Royal Navy. Mary apparently went to live with her son-in-law in whose house she died on 10th November 1915.
The lectern at Christ Church St Kilda is inscribed in his memory.
Bruce Fordham, 2007