Church members in front of the Titikaveka Church Cook Islands, 1915.  Harry and Olive Streeter and baby Mamie are towards the left of the photo.

Photo courtesy of South Pacific Division Heritage Centre.

Streeter, Henry Stephen (1890–1976) and Olive Mary (Wall) (1894–1976)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Henry (Harry) and Olive Streeter spent a short time in missionary service in the Cook Islands. While Olive accompanied him caring for the home and children, Harry spent some 55 years in teaching and pastoral ministry in Australia and the South Pacific.

Preparation for Service

Henry Stephen Streeter was one of five children in the family of Henry Edward and Mary Elizabeth (Wilkinson) Streeter, who first came in contact with Seventh-day Adventists in 1895.1 He was born on May 2, 1890, in Toowoomba, QLD, and as a teenager attended the Avondale School for Christian Workers at Cooranbong, NSW.2 He completed the preparatory course in 19073 and continued his studies to graduate from the teacher’s course in 1910.4 He was a studious young man, proceeding to graduate from the biblical-academic course in 1912.5 He also possessed some musical talent, playing the clarinet in the school brass band.6

Years of Ministry

Henry, better known as Harry, was appointed to teach in the small elementary school at Murgon, QLD,7 but instead he wrote of doing evangelistic work in a different district, beginning in May 1913, assisting in a crusade at Terrors Creek, a timber-milling hamlet of four hundred individuals. Only three converts were won.8

Early in 1914 Streeter married Olive Mary Wall,9 who was born in Rockhampton, QLD, in 1894.10 They had been chosen to start a school on remote Mangaia Island in the Cook Islands, and to better prepare themselves, they did a short course in simple medical remedies at the Sydney Sanitarium and Hospital.11 They arrived at the island on June 16, 1914, to live in a native materials hut and open a night school for young men who wanted to learn English.12 All the time Olive was pregnant with their first child. As the birth approached they waited anxiously for an island steamer to take them back to Rarotonga. They arrived ahead of time, and Mamie Aroa was born in December 1914.13 For six months they had to wait in Rarotonga before the steamer returned them to Mangaia.14 However, when they settled again at Mangaia, it was reported that Olive was in poor health.15 To be so isolated from medical care was courting disaster. They left Mangaia and arrived in Wellington, NZ, at the end of 1915 en route to the Sydney Sanitarium and Hospital for recuperation.16

Harry engaged in evangelism in the South New Zealand Conference during 1916 and 1917, including the Timaru district.17 He was then appointed to teach at the Oroua Missionary School at Longburn, NZ, 1918 through 1921.18 In 1922, back in New South Wales, Australia, he was in charge of the Bathurst elementary school. The following year he taught at Wahroonga elementary school.19 During 1924 through 1926 he was teacher and farm manager at the Darling Range School, Western Australia, a dual and heavy load designed to cut costs by reducing staff numbers.20 A need then arose for a man to fill the twofold role of teacher and evangelist at Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields. Harry Streeter happily responded to the task21 and continued to work in the West Australian Conference until 1929.

From Western Australia, Streeter moved into administrative work as secretary-treasurer in the North New South Wales Conference through the difficult Depression Years, 1930–1932.22 He held the same position in the Queensland Conference during 1933.23 In 1934 and 1935 he was back in the classroom, teaching again at the New Zealand Missionary College (formerly Oroua Missionary School).24 The year 1936 brought a permanent return to Australia. He was involved in pastoral ministry in the South Australian Conference25 until appointed to carry the roles of Sabbath School secretary, Home Missions secretary, and Young People’s secretary, 1939–1941.26

At the Victorian Conference session in East Prahran church, Melbourne, January 1942, Streeter was ordained as a gospel minister.27 For the next 26 years he engaged in pastoral ministry in the Melbourne suburbs,28 preferring public transport rather than owning a car.29 He officially retired in 1966,30 but continued for two more years visiting the sick in Melbourne hospitals. His ministerial service spanned 55 years. He was known for his intelligent and kindly character.31

Retirement

On retirement Harry and Olive were living in Mount Waverley, an eastern Melbourne suburb, but they later enjoyed care at Coronella Homes, Nunawading. It was there that Harry died on August 6, 1976,32 and a few months later, on November 10, Olive died. Both were buried in the Springvale Cemetery.33 Their three children were Mamie (born 1914), Harry (born 1916), and Eric (born 1923).34

Sources

“Brother and Sister H. S. Streeter . . .” Australasian Record, February 7, 1916.

“Brother H. Streeter, who has been in charge . . .” Australasian Record, January 22, 1923.

“Brother H. Streeter writes he is still detained . . .” Australasian Record, June 7, 1915.

“Brother Harry Streeter and wife . . .” Australasian Record, March 9, 1914.

Butler, S[idney] C. “The West Australian Conference.” Australasian Record, June 6, 1927.

G[regory], J[ames] P. “Closing Exercises.” Australasian Record, November 4, 1912.

Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Streeter, Henry Stephen.” Document: “Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Record.”

Hook, Milton. Avondale: Experiment on the Dora.” Cooranbong, NSW: Avondale Academic Press, 1998.

Irvine, Isobel. “Tribute to Pastor H. S. Streeter.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, October 18, 1976.

Lawson, T[homas] C. “Henry Edward Streeter.” Australasian Record, July 17, 1950.

Letts, [F.] H[arold]. “South New Zealand.” Australasian Record, May 14, 1917.

Pascoe, W[illiam] H. “Notes from New Zealand.” Australasian Record, March 11, 1918.

Queensland Government. Marriage Certificates. “Marriages—Search Historical Records.” Updated June 3, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/queryEntry.m?type=marriages. 

Rosendahl, E[dward]. “Vacation Days at Darling Range.” Australasian Record, February 25, 1924.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Years 1913–1966.

Showe, C[harles] H. “Closing Exercises of the Avondale School.” Union Conference Record, November 4, 1907.

Sterling, G[eorge] L. “The Cook Islands,” Australasian Record, October 4, 1915.

Streeter, H[enry S.]. “Terrors Creek and District.” Australasian Record, January 26, 1914.

Streeter, H[enry S.] and O[live M.]. “In a Strange Land.” Australasian Record, August 24, 1914.

“The Victorian Session was an interesting gathering . . .” Australasian Record, February 9, 1942.

“There was quite an exodus from the college . . .” Australasian Record, November 4, 1912.

Uttley, S[tuart] M. “Life Sketch of Pastor H. S. Streeter.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 27, 1976.

———. “Olive Mary Streeter.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 24, 1977.

Notes

  1. T[homas] C. Lawson, “Henry Edward Streeter,” Australasian Record, July 17, 1950.

  2. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives (Folder: “Streeter, Henry Stephen”; Document: “Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Record”).

  3. C[harles] H. Schowe, “Closing Exercises of the Avondale School,” Union Conference Record, November 4, 1907, 6, 7.

  4. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records.

  5. J[ames] P. G[regory], “Closing Exercises,” Australasian Record, November 4, 1912, 8.

  6. Milton Hook, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora (Cooranbong, NSW: Avondale Academic Press, 1998), 67.

  7. “There was quite an exodus from the college . . . ,” Australasian Record, November 4, 1912, 8.

  8. H[enry S.] Streeter, “Terrors Creek and District,” Australasian Record, January 26, 1914, 3, 4.

  9. Queensland Government, Certificate of Marriage C2767 (1914), “Marriages—Search Historical Records,” updated June 3, 2015, accessed February 15, 2019, retrieved from https://www.bdm.qld.gov.au/IndexSearch/queryEntry.m?type=marriages.

  10. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records.

  11. “Brother Harry Streeter and wife . . . ,” Australasian Record, March 9, 1914, 8.

  12. H[enry S.] and O[live M.] Streeter, “In a Strange Land,” Australasian Record, August 24, 1914, 3.

  13. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records.

  14. “Brother H. Streeter writes he is still detained . . . ,” Australasian Record, June 7, 1915 8.

  15. G[eorge] L. Sterling, “The Cook Islands,” Australasian Record, October 4, 1915, 3.

  16. “Brother and Sister H. S. Streeter . . . ,” Australasian Record, February 7, 1916, 8.

  17. [F.] H[arold] Letts, “South New Zealand,” Australasian Record, May 14, 1917, 4, 5.

  18. W[illiam] H. Pascoe, “Notes from New Zealand,” Australasian Record, March 11, 1918, 8.

  19. “Brother H. Streeter, who has been in charge . . . ,” Australasian Record, January 22, 1923, 8.

  20. E[dward] Rosendahl, “Vacation Days at Darling Range,” Australasian Record, February 25, 1924, 5, 6.

  21. S[idney] C. Butler, “The West Australian Conference,” Australasian Record, June 6, 1927, 3, 4.

  22. E.g., “North New South Wales Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1931), 127.

  23. “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1933), 69.

  24. E.g., “New Zealand Missionary College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1935), 240.

  25. E.g., “South Australian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1936), 73.

  26. E.g., “South Australian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1940), 75.

  27. “The Victorian Session was an interesting gathering . . . ,” Australasian Record, February 9, 1942, 8.

  28. E.g., “Victorian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1943), 69.

  29. Milton Hook, personal knowledge from working in the Victorian Conference, 1965–1967.

  30. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records.

  31. Isobel Irvine, “Tribute to Pastor H. S. Streeter,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, October 18, 1976, 13.

  32. S[tuart] M. Uttley, “Life Sketch of Pastor H. S. Streeter,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 27, 1976, 11.

  33. S[tuart] M. Uttley, “Olive Mary Streeter,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 24, 1977, 15.

  34. Henry Stephen Streeter Work Service Records.

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Hook, Milton. "Streeter, Henry Stephen (1890–1976) and Olive Mary (Wall) (1894–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A85T.

Hook, Milton. "Streeter, Henry Stephen (1890–1976) and Olive Mary (Wall) (1894–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A85T.

Hook, Milton (2020, January 29). Streeter, Henry Stephen (1890–1976) and Olive Mary (Wall) (1894–1976). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A85T.