Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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ROLLAND, William Stothert (1846-1920)

William Rolland, circa 1919.

William Rolland, circa 1919.

ROLLAND, William Stothert (1846-1920)

Presbyterian Minister and Moderator-General, William Rolland had a profound effect on the Geelong College and the early development of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM), primarily through his son, Francis Rolland (1878-1965) who became Principal of Geelong College from 1920 to 1945. William was born in Edinburgh to parents James Rolland and Maria Stothert and first emigrated to New Zealand. He was enrolled as a boarder at the College in 1873 although there are no further details. In about 1875, he married Margaret Louisa Campbell the daughter of the Geelong College’s founder Rev A J Campbell.

He was an assistant at St George’s Presbyterian Church, Geelong and after secondary schooling was educated at the PCV Theological Hall from 1881 to 1884. He carried out home missionary work in Prahran and was ordained in 1884. From then until 1914 he continued at Prahran. He retired from active ministry in 1915. He was significant in his involvement with the founding of the Deaconess Institute later to be known as Rolland House. He was Moderator of the Victorian Church in 1904 and Moderator-General from 1910 to 1912. William published a sermon in 1894; Crooked Paths: the Responsibilities of the Christian Citizen as to the Racecourse and Gambling, (Melbourne, 1894).

Rev W S Rolland opened proceedings with prayer at the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Norman Morrison Memorial Hall.

Sources: Pegasus December 1919 p 8; Prentis, Malcolm D. Moderators of the Uniting Church 1901-1977 Uniting Church in Australia NSW Synod.
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