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Allan Maberly

From Australasian Record, November 23, 1985.

Maberly, Allan (1922–1977) and Ivy Bertha (Findley; 1929–2019)

By Lester Devine

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Originally trained as a secondary history teacher, a career long Adventist educator, Lester Devine, Ed.D., has taught at elementary, secondary and higher education levels and spent more than three decades in elected educational leadership positions in two divisions of the world Church, NAD (1969-1982) and SPD (1982-2005). He completed his forty years of denominational service with a term as director of the Ellen G. White/Adventist Research Centre at Avondale University College in Australia where his life-long hobby of learning and presenting on Adventist heritage issues became his vocation. 

First Published: January 29, 2020

Australians by birth, Allan and Ivy Maberly were pioneering Seventh-day Adventist missionaries to Tibet.

Allan Maberly was born on May 2, 1922, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.1 Baptized in 1940, he attended the New Zealand Missionary College (now Longburn Adventist College) in New Zealand during 1943 and 1944, after which he continued his education at the Australasian Missionary College in Australia, graduating from the building construction course in 1944 and, one year later, the ministerial training course. He then spent one year of nursing study in 1946 at the Sydney Sanitarium (now Sydney Adventist Hospital) in order to prepare himself for what he hoped would be a career as a medical missionary.2 During those years, he spent his vacations and then worked part-time in 1947 as a literature evangelist.3

Maberly began his ministerial career in February 1947 and for two years was part of the Reeves evangelistic team in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. On April 28, 1948, Allan Maberly was married to Ivy Bertha Findley by Stuart Uttley in the Albion Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brisbane.4 Ivy had been born on February 21, 1929, in Heyfield, Victoria, Australia.5 In time they were to have three daughters: Dawn Ivey, Carol Ellen, and Ruth Iris.6 On March 26, 1951, Allan Maberly was ordained to the gospel ministry in Brisbane.7 He carried ministerial credentials until he transferred to the publishing work of the Church in late 1961. After six years in the South Queensland Conference, the Maberlys were called to the Victorian Conference for one year of ministerial service before transferring to the Southern Asia Division, where Allan worked in medical missionary evangelism in northern India, close to Nepal and Tibet, for nearly eight years.8

During that time, the family lived in Kalimpong in northern India, from where one can look out over India, Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan.9 Maberly learned to speak both Nepalese and Tibetan. His three young daughters all spoke Nepalese as well as a little Tibetan by the time the family returned home to Australia on furlough.10 In northern India, Maberly used a Willys Jeep station wagon fitted out as a mobile dispensary and had a circuit of 60 miles radius from home. Driving around the various marketplaces, he would set up a card table and folding chair and then would announce his presence by playing a selection of hymn tunes on his trumpet. Soon a crowd would gather seeking help for such ailments as scabies, ringworm, goiter, malaria, eye disease, painful teeth, and much more. Maberly would write the appropriate prescription and then send the patient to the Jeep, where the dispenser in the vehicle would deal with the patients through the side window. Every prescription filled was accompanied by a Scripture portion or a Christian tract. He pulled teeth as needed and was well known for his technique of giving injections that patients considered as close to painless as possible.11

Monthly, Maberly obtained permission to hold his clinic in either Bhutan or Sikkim and was one of the few foreigners allowed into those areas. He regularly attempted to enter Tibet as well, and while the Indian officials were happy to let him cross the border, he was, just as consistently, refused entry, first by the Tibetan authorities and later the Chinese officials.12

Allan Maberly’s heart was in medical missionary evangelism, and it was in this role that he is most remembered. However, by the time the family returned to Australia from the Southern Asia Division in 1961, Allan Maberly no longer had ministerial credentials. Thus he assumed a new role, initially as a literature evangelist, and then from March 1963 as the assistant secretary of the Publishing Department secretary for the Greater Sydney Conference.13 In late 1965 he made his final denominational career move to Warburton in Victoria, where he became the sales manager for Signs Publishing Company, a position he held for 11 years.14 He died on July 26, 1977, at the age of 55.15

As was said at the time, “His counsel was sound in committee, his enthusiasm for his work was an example to us all, his readiness to give and expect nothing in return a silent sermon.”16 Maberly’s book, God Spoke Tibetan, is a powerful story of pioneering mission service.17

Ivy Maberly also worked for the Signs Publishing Company, and later for Sydney Adventist Hospital. In her later years, she worked as a volunteer for ADRA in Zambia and Nepal before her death on July 21, 2019.18

Sources

“A Missioner Comes Home from Tibet.” Sydney Morning Herald, October 1, 1959.

Allan Maberly Biographical Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Maberly, Allan.” Document: “Biographical Information Blank.”

Allan Maberly Biographical Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Maberly, Allan.” Document: “Biographical Record.”

Allan Maberly Service Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Maberly, Allan.” Document: “Maberly, Allan, Service Record.”

Allan Maberly Sustentation Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Maberly, Allan.” Document: “Weekly Rate.”

Down, Kendall K. Review of “God Spoke Tibetan.” Accessed September 1, 2019. http://www.nwtv.co.uk/pages/arts/books/books/tibet/chap00.htm.

“Ivy Maberly obituary.” Record, September 21, 2019.

Judd, Claude D. “Life Sketch of Brother Allan Maberly.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 12, 1977.

Maberly, Allan. God Spoke Tibetan. Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1971.

“Our colleague and friend. . . .” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 5, 1977.

Uttley, S. M. “Allan Maberly obituary.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 12, 1977.

———. “Maberly-Findley marriage.” Australasian Record, July 5, 1948.

Notes

  1. Allan Maberly Biographical Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Folder: “Maberly, Allan,” Document: “Biographical Information Blank.”

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. S. M. Uttley, “Maberly-Findley marriage,” Australasian Record, July 5, 1948, 7.

  5. Allan Maberly Biographical Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Folder: “Maberly, Allan,” Document: “Biographical Record.”

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Allan Maberly Sustentation Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Folder: “Maberly, Allan,” Document: “Weekly Rate.”

  9. Claude D. Judd, “Life Sketch of Brother Allan Maberly,” Australasian Record, September 12, 1977, 5.

  10. “A Missioner Comes Home from Tibet,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 1, 1959.

  11. Kendall K. Down, review of “God Spoke Tibetan,” accessed September 1, 2019, http://www.nwtv.co.uk/pages/arts/books/books/tibet/chap00.htm.

  12. Allan Maberly, God Spoke Tibetan (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1971), dust jacket.

  13. Allan Maberly Service Record, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Folder: “Maberly, Allan,” Document: “Maberly, Allan Service Record.”

  14. Allan Maberly Sustentation Records, “Weekly Rate.”

  15. “Our colleague and friend . . . ,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 5, 1977, 16; S. M. Uttley, “Allan Maberly obituary,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 12, 1977, 14.

  16. “Our colleague and friend . . . ,” 14.

  17. Maberly, God Spoke Tibetan.

  18. “Ivy Maberly obituary,” Record, September 21, 2019, 14.

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Devine, Lester. "Maberly, Allan (1922–1977) and Ivy Bertha (Findley; 1929–2019)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed August 03, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HMX.

Devine, Lester. "Maberly, Allan (1922–1977) and Ivy Bertha (Findley; 1929–2019)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access August 03, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HMX.

Devine, Lester (2020, January 29). Maberly, Allan (1922–1977) and Ivy Bertha (Findley; 1929–2019). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved August 03, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HMX.