Evelyn Gooding was a pioneer teacher to Rarotonga and the first Avondale College graduate to Pacific Islands mission work.
Evelyn Gooding was born in South Australia in 1877 to Elijah and Charlotte (Ridgway) Gooding. Her parents lost their first two children, Ernest Gabriel and Herbert Clifford, in infancy. Others in the family were Percival (b.1872), May (b.1875), Evelyn (b.1877), Sydney Clarence (b.1879), Adelaide (b.1881), Milton (b.1883), Violet Ruth (b.1886), Junetta Mercy (b.1889), and Ralph Roy (b.1892).1 The family originally lived in Claire where Elijah conducted a small retail shop. The reading of Seventh-day Adventist tracts was largely instrumental in their acceptance of the Adventist message in 1887. Elijah closed his store on Saturdays and conducted Sabbath services in their home until later moving his family to the city and worshipping with fellow believers in suburban Adelaide.2
When the Avondale School for Christian Workers (ASCW) opened in 1897 in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Evelyn was one of four Adelaide young people selected by the church members to benefit from a fund established to loan fees to those showing academic promise.3 On arrival at the school she was nominated to train as a teacher under practical instruction from Ella Hughes and, later, Hattie Andre, in the elementary school on campus. Four years were spent in training.4
Years of Service
Evelyn spent 1901 teaching in the new church school at Stanmore, suburban Sydney. She was expected to live off the school fees so that the enterprise would be self-supporting. However, the income scarcely covered her living expenses. In the winter she shivered from lack of adequate clothing and blankets. Every day her lunch consisted of only a few dates and a split-pea sandwich without butter.5
The following year, February 1902, she sailed for the Cook Islands under appointment to pioneer a school on Rarotonga. She was the first Avondale-trained teacher to serve in the Pacific Islands. Initially she conducted a small elementary school during the morning hours at Aorangi on Rarotonga Island and then drove a horse and trap to Titikaveka to teach another group in the afternoons. Later, these efforts were combined into one school at Titikaveka.6 The balmy weather meant she no longer shivered. Her greatest battle was to convince parents of the imperative for students to be punctual and regular in attendance so that they would not miss vital instruction.7 In mid-1904 Evelyn used her vacation time to go to Raiatea Island in French Polynesia, living with a Christian couple and observing their home school for local children. She was impressed with their compassion and the spiritual tone of their school.8
In late 1905 Evelyn had to return to Australia9 because she had contracted tuberculosis. She was treated for three months.10 Added to her anxiety was the fact that her younger brother, Milton, was battling the same disease. Unfortunately, he passed away in 190611 but Evelyn survived and returned to the ASCW to train as a Bible instructor. The urgent need for school teachers prompted her to cut short her training and teach at another school for a short period before her acceptance as a Bible instructor in the South Australian Conference. She was paid fifteen shillings each week and given a tent to live in, her mother financing the meager furnishings.12
Poor health once again forced Evelyn, about 1910, to seek manual employment on a farm. In 1914 she married orchardist John Ormiston Carr in the Arcadia Seventh-day Adventist church, New South Wales.13 John passed away on July 7, 1922, after a brief illness14 and Evelyn retraced her steps to Adelaide, South Australia, to care for her aging mother. There, in 1926, Evelyn married another orchardist, widower Joseph Frederick Golding.15 Later, they retired to the Seventh-day Adventist community in Cooranbong, New South Wales. Joseph passed away on May 17, 1950, and was laid to rest in the nearby Avondale Memorial Cemetery. Evelyn continued as an active community member, forming a Good Cheer Society for aged residents in her village.16 She passed away on September 20, 1960, and was laid to rest with Joseph in the same cemetery plot. Her tombstone reads: “No More Pain,” indicating she suffered in her final years.17
Butz, E[dward] S. “South Australian Conference.” Union Conference Record, April 12, 1909.
District of Adelaide. Marriage Certificates. Government of South Australia Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Adelaide, South Australia.
District of Gosford. Marriage Certificates. Government of New South Wales Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, New South Wales.
“Evelyn Golding.” Find A Grave, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209276640/evelyn-golding.
“Evelyn Gooding.” FamilySearch.org, Intellectual Reserve, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZ2R-DS4.
Golding, Evelyn. “Seventy Years of Providential Care.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 19, 1956.
Gooding, Evelyn. “City or Country Life - Which?” Union Conference Record, September 1, 1904.
Gooding, Evelyn. “Experiences in the Rarotonga Church School.” Union Conference Record, July 1, 1904.
Gooding, Evelyn. “Milton Gooding.” Union Conference Record, February 4, 1907.
Piper, A[lbert] H. “Our School in Rarotonga.” Union Conference Record, January 15, 1903.
“Sister Evelyn Gooding arrived…” Union Conference Record, October 15, 1905.
“The Students Aid Fund.” The Gleaner, May 1897.
Turner, W. G[ordon]. “Evelyn Golding.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, October 10, 1960.
White, A[lbert] H. “John Ormston (sic) Carr.” Australasian Record, August 7, 1922.
“Evelyn Gooding,” FamilySearch.org, Intellectual Reserve, 2020, accessed September 6, 2020, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LZ2R-DS4.↩
Evelyn Golding, “Seventy Years of Providential Care,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 19, 1956, 2.↩
“The Students Aid Fund,” The Gleaner, May 1897, 61-62.↩
Golding, “Seventy Years of Providential Care,” 2.↩
A[lbert] H. Piper, “Our School in Rarotonga,” Union Conference Record, January 15, 1903, 7.↩
Evelyn Gooding, “Experiences in the Rarotonga Church School,” Union Conference Record, July 1, 1904, 4.↩
Evelyn Gooding, “City or Country Life-Which?” Union Conference Record, September 1, 1904, 3.↩
“Sister Evelyn Gooding arrived…” Union Conference Record, October 15, 1905, 7.↩
Golding, “Seventy Years of Providential Care,” 2.↩
Evelyn Gooding, “Milton Gooding,” Union Conference Record, February 4, 1907, 7.↩
E.g., E[dward] S. Butz, “South Australian Conference,”Union Conference Record, April 12, 1909, 4-6; Golding, “Seventy Years of Providential Care,” 2.↩
District of Gosford, Certificate of Marriage no.3321 (1914), Government of New South Wales Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, New South Wales.↩
A[lbert] H. White, “John Ormston (sic) Carr,” Australasian Record, August 7, 1922, 7.↩
District of Adelaide, Marriage certificate no. 306/192 (1926), Government of South Australia Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Adelaide, South Australia.↩
W. G[ordon] Turner, “Evelyn Golding,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, October 10, 1960, 14.↩
“Evelyn Golding,” Find A Grave, 2020, accessed September 9, 2020, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209276640/evelyn-golding.↩