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HEYER, Johannes (1872-1945)

HEYER, Johannes (1872-1945)

Johannes Heyer, clergyman, was notable as the minister of St John's Presbyterian Church, Hobart and as the author of the centennial history of Tasmanian Presbyterianism, The Presbyterian Pioneers of Van Dieman's Land.

He was born at Geelong on 29 April 1872, the son of a Lutheran Pastor, Rev George Heyer and his wife Clare Elizabeth, nee Kummer. They had settled in the small German community of Germantown later to be known as Grovedale and his father, among his many pastoral duties, became a German teacher at Geelong College. Johannes was enrolled at Geelong College in 1887. Fittingly, the young student, Johannes excelled at German but also proved himself a brilliantly versatile student becoming dux of both the University Class and the College in 1887. George Morrison writing in his Annual Report of 1889 described Heyer as 'greatly distinguishing himself, displaying extraordinary ability, and carrying the highest distinction the College can confer' .

Johannes studied modern languages at Ormond College, graduating BA in 1882 and MA in 1894 before studying theology there from 1893 to 1896. Like many of his contemporaries from Geelong College he pursued further education in Edinburgh eventually returning to Geelong where he was ordained a Presbyterian Minister. After serving various congregations he was appointed to St John's Church, Hobart as Minister in 1904. Shortly after his arrival in Hobart he married Amy Florence Isabel McGregor. He remained associated with St John's Church for the remainder of his life. Johannes died at Hobart on 18 October, 1945.

Sources: Annual Reports 1887-1889; Chris Mostert, 'Heyer, Johannes (1872 - 1945)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, Melbourne University Press, 1983, pp 278-279.
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