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HOUSTON, Alexander Somerville (1881-1971)

HOUSTON, Rev Alexander Somerville (1881-1971)

The Reverend Alexander Somerville Houston, MA was installed in 1948 as Moderator of the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria.
Rev A S Houston.

Rev A S Houston.

He had been for seventeen years the minister of St Andrew's Church, Box Hill. In appointing him to its highest office, the Church was doing honour to a strong Presbyterian family, as Rev Houston suggested in his inaugural address, but it had also chosen a minister of long and wide experience and a genial personality. Rev Houston succeeded the Rev W W Ingram, of St Andrew's Church, East Geelong, a member of the Geelong College Council. Rev Houston was the son of Rev Alexander Somerville Houston and Maggie Russell nee Monteith and was a Geelong Collegian of the years 1896-1901, a successful student and a member of the 1st Football Team of 1901.

On matriculation, he took an Honours Arts course and Theology at Melbourne. His service at Allansford, Skipton and Box Hill was punctuated by periods with the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) at Broome and as a Chaplain in the two World Wars. During the 1914-18 war he served through the Palestine campaign as a Chaplain with the Light Horse. In World War II he became Senior Chaplain for Victoria and was more than once acting Chaplain-General. Four times he has acted as Chaplain to Moderators of the State Assembly and General Assembly.

The Rev Houston's two sons, Alexander Donald Houston (1913-2010) and James Wilson ‘Bill’ Rock Houston (1915-1944), attended the College, and both served in World War II. ‘Bill’, a pilot in the RAAF, lost his life in a flying accident in Australia shortly before he was due to go overseas. Rev Houston’s brother, Robert John Houston (1872-1953) also attended the College from 1883.

Sources: Pegasus June 1948 p35; The Messenger; Ad Astra March 1971.
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