After morning prayers and singing, Synod members paused to thank Joan McRae for her many years of service as Synod chief steward.
Moderator Sharon Hollis admitted that it was difficult to know exactly how many years Joan has served for, but it was definitely more than a quarter of a century.
Something of a ‘fixture’ at Synod meetings, Ms Hollis said Joan had distributed ‘millions’ of pages of updates, rolls, lists, kept track of lost property and generally ensured the smooth running of Synod.
Increasing use of technology, such as the Synod App, meant the Synod business committee has reviewed some of its processes. Ms Hollis told the meeting that after discussions, Joan graciously stepped down to allow a ‘new way of doing things’, with a hospitality team replacing stewards this year.
Ms McRae said that she first started in the role of steward in 1993 or ’94. She recalled that, although in her late-50s at the time, she worked under the very watchful eyes of senior ladies.
When the Synod meeting was moved to La Trobe university Ms McRae took over the role of chief steward. She said that not everyone can be a good steward, and that over the years she and her team had made stewards an art form!