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Charles William Tinworth, c 1936.

Photo courtesy of the Sanitarium Health Food Company Archives.

Tinworth, Charles William (1898–1976)

By Shirley Tarburton

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Shirley Tarburton, M.Litt. (Distinction) (University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia) retired in 2008 after 40 years teaching church-school (mainly high school but including eight years at university). An Australian, she has taught in four mission fields, Australia, and New Zealand. She has authored five books and co-authored one on church history, biography and family history, as well as several magazine articles. She is married to Dr. Michael Tarburton with two adult children and four grandchildren.

 

First Published: January 29, 2020

Charles Tinworth was an Adventist missionary and Sanitarium Health Food (SHF) Company Manager.

Early Years

Charles William Tinworth was born on May 11, 1898, on his parents’ small farm near Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia. His parents, John Elliot Tinworth and Annie Elizabeth Wilke (1871-1920, 1873-1948), both emigrated from England to Australia with their families as children and married in Brisbane, Queensland. Charles William Tinworth, the eldest of their four children, had two brothers and a sister–Albert James (1900-1983), Clarice Elsie (Mrs. Herbert Ford, 1903-1991) and Leslie John (1909-2009).1

About 1906, a Seventh-day Adventist colporteur, J. H. Hewett, visited the Tinworth’s remote farm. After buying a book from him and plying him with questions most of the night, John and Annie Tinworth wholeheartedly accepted the message he brought them.2 John Tinworth felt compelled to do what he could to reach as many as possible of the settlers in the nearly inaccessible areas of western and northern Queensland. This meant that he was away from home for extended periods of time. As the eldest child, the responsibility fell upon Charles Tinworth to assist his mother on the farm as much as possible.3

While John Tinworth was away, Annie Tinworth would gather the children around the kitchen table on Sabbath afternoons to write out Bible verses and passages from evangelistic tracts and other material, making as many carbon copies as they could. On his next visit home, John Tinworth collected these to share throughout his next trip, leaving them in mail-boxes if no one was home when he called.4 In this way, Charles Tinworth commenced working for Christ before he was ten years old. He made his decision for the Lord and was baptized at age thirteen.5

Education and Family

When Charles Tinworth was old enough to sell books himself, he joined his father in his ministry for a short while in 1911, and again for a few months in 1912.6 At age 17, Tinworth enrolled in the business course at the Australasian Missionary College, Avondale. After graduating in November 1916,7 he was appointed to be a stenographer in the Australasian Union Conference office.8 However, early in 1917 he was transferred back to his home state to be stenographer in the Queensland Conference.9 In January, 1918, Charles was promoted to be the secretary of the Tract Society for Queensland.10

On May 14, 1919, he married Amy Ford (1897-1991) in the Brisbane SDA church.11 She was the daughter of long-time family friends, John and Jane Ford of North New South Wales.12 (Five years later, Charles’ sister, Clarice, married Amy’s brother, Herbert.)13 The following year, Neville Charles (1920-1994), the first of their four children was born. Their other children were Linda Daphne (Mrs. Roy Caro, 1922-2011), Jean Alene (1925-2005), and Loren Ross (1928-2013).14

Mission Service

In April 1921, Tinworth was called to Lucknow in North India to assist Pastor J. Fulton in the administrative office of the Indian Seventh-day Adventist church.15 In August of the same year, he accompanied W. W. Fletcher to Poona in order to acquire land for the building of the Division headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in India.16

Early in 1922 he was appointed to be Secretary-Treasurer of the South India Union, necessitating a move to Bangalore, over 1510 km (or approximately 1000 miles) to the south.17 He held this position for five years, during which he often travelled about the Union territory, assessing needs, providing encouragement and conducting meetings.18 He also taught Business classes at the South India Training School at Krishnarajapuram near Bangalore (now Lowry Memorial).19 Charles had a particular interest in promoting literature evangelism and facilitated the first education scholarships earned by Indian students in the South India Union.20

Working for the SHF

At the conclusion of his term of service in mid-1927, the family returned to Australia. W. W. Fletcher, who had also returned to Australia and was now the secretary of the Australasian Union Conference, passed on an invitation to Tinworth to join the church’s Sanitarium Health Food Company where he was appointed manager of the Sydney Café.21 He was to work for the SHF for the next 37 years.22

In September of 1929, he was transferred to Brisbane to manage the SHF café there.23 While overseeing the serving of healthy vegetarian food, he also expressed concern about his clients’ spiritual welfare, and baptisms resulted from his interest and interaction.24 By 1932, he was also on the Queensland Conference Executive Committee.25

Tinworth’s next appointment was to Christchurch, New Zealand, at the end of 1933, to be the assistant secretary for the Health Food Department with responsibility for the general supervision of the SHF Company throughout New Zealand.26 He was also a member of the South New Zealand Conference Executive Committee,27 and on the Papanui Central School board.28 As the depression of the 1930s worsened, he reduced his salary to half-pay so that more people could retain their employment in the factory. During this time, he achieved his goal to make Weet Bix and Marmite household brands in New Zealand.29

After the 1936 Union Conference Session, Tinworth was appointed sales and advertising manager of the SHF and joined the head office staff at Wahroonga.30 In 1938, when the Health Food work within Australia was reorganized into three districts, Tinworth was appointed to be the secretary (director) of the Southern District, comprising the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. This necessitated a move to Melbourne, Victoria, which was undertaken early in 1939.31

In October, 1942, Tinworth returned to Sydney, as the newly-appointed secretary of the Eastern District, made up of New South Wales and Queensland.32 Here he was to remain for the rest of his life. After a further re-organization within the SHF, his role changed to that of the Manager of the Sydney Factory and Wholesale Branch at Lewisham in Sydney, a position he filled until his retirement in 1964.33 Tinworth endeavored to get to know all his employees and to call them by name. He took an interest in them and their families that extended beyond their time of employment with him.34

Tinworth served in a voluntary capacity on a number of boards and committees. He was chairman of the Australian Honey Board for many years, chairman of the Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist School Board, and chairman of the Church Building Committee for the Division headquarters church at Wahroonga.35He served on the Australasian Division Executive Committee, also as an elder of the Concord36 and then Wahroonga Adventist churches,37 and was on the preaching plan for the Greater Sydney Conference for decades. He was offered ordination, but declined.38 He had a strong interest in mission work and made visits to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, not only expanding the customer base of the SHF, but also providing gifts of finance and health foods to SDA institutions and projects.39

Final Years

When Tinworth retired in 1964, he had completed almost 50 years of service. He and his wife remained in their home of the previous two decades and continued to participate in many voluntary activities.40 In 1971, Tinworth had the honor of laying the foundation stone for the new School of Nursing for the Sydney Adventist Hospital.41 On August 23, 1976, aged 78 years, Charles William Tinworth died in the Sydney Adventist Hospital. He was buried at the Avondale Cemetery in Cooranbong two days later.42

Sources

Allbon, Rhae, “The Sands of Time.” Australasian Record, November 6, 1916.

“Another matter of major importance...” Australasian Record, May 8, 1939.

“At the end of this month...” Australasian Record, May 4. 1959.

“Brother and Sister C. W.Tinworth…” Australasian Record, May 2, 1921.

“Brother C. W. Tinworth...” Australasian Record, November 9, 1942.

“Brother C. W. Tinworth and family…” Australasian Record, June 27, 1927.

“Brother Frank Butler has been…” Australasian Record, March 6, 1922.

Caldwell, D. “First Official Kindergarten Unit.” Australasian Record, July 24, 1961.

Campbell, A. J. “A Time-honoured Gathering.” Australasian Record, February 21, 1966.

Chapman, G. T. “A Story of God's Providence.” Australasian Record, November 6, 1933.

Charles William Tinworth Personal Service Record, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Tinworth, Charles William.” Document: “Personal Service Record.”

“Consequent upon certain adjustments...” Australasian Record, August 9, 1943.

“Credentials and Licenses.” Australasian Record, November 15, 1920.

“Delegates to the Australasian Division Session.” Australasian Record, December 13, 1954.

“Distribution of Labour.” Australasian Record, September 25, 1916.

“Distribution of Labour.” Australasian Record, September 5, 1927.

“Distribution of Labour.” Australasian Record, September 18, 1933.

“Does Wahroonga Do Its Part?” Australasian Record, April 1, 1957.

Fletcher, W. W. “Returning to India.” Australasian Record, November 20, 1922.

Fletcher, W. W. “Recent Actions of the Union Conference Committee.” Australasian Record, April 9, 1928.

Gilmore, Laurence. “Who Served to Save.” Australasian Record, August 30, 1971.

Health Food Department. “Annual Council Australasian Inter-Union Conference.” Australasian Record, January 16, 1950.

Hedges, Ursula M. “Panim School a Credit Says Education Officer.” Australasian Record, January 6, 1964.

Herbert, A. S. “South New Zealand Annual Conference Session and Camp Meeting.” Australasian Record, March 12, 1934.

Hill, C. “South New Zealand Conference.” Australasian Record, May 25, 1936.

“A Hungry World.” Australasian Record, April 15, 1946.

“In response to a request from India…” Australasian Record, April 4, 1921.

“In response to requests…” Australasian Record, February 26, 1917.

“In the South Brisbane church.” Australasian Record, June 9, 1919.

Johanson, B. O. “S.H.F. Co.'s New Factory in Hobart.” Australasian Record, October 31, 1949.

“Jubilee Celebrations at P. C. S.” Australasian Record, July 1, 1935.

“Life Sketch of the Late C. W. Tinworth.” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976.

McFarlane, R. A. “Their First Camp-Meeting.” Australasian Record, November 24, 1952.

Miller, L. M. “First Graduation for Sepik Central.” Australasian Record, February 12, 1962.

“A missionary family from India…” Australasian Record, May 9, 1938.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, April 10, 1911.

“Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, May 6, 1912.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, June 3, 1912.

“Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, July 8, 1912.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, August 12, 1912.

Murdoch, W. G. “Kavieng District Meetings Held at Boliu, Mussau Island December 14-18, 1950.” Australasian Record, January 29, 1951.

Naden, L C. “Charles Tinworth obituary.” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976.

Nash, Adele. “Historic NZ Church Celebrates 80 Years.” Australasian Record, January 14, 2006.

“News Notes.” Australasian Record, May 22, 1939.

“Nominations, Appointments, and Transfers.” Australasian Record, October 6, 1941.

One of the Staff. “The Bathurst Mission.” Australasian Record, November 29, 1954.

One Who Attended. “Report of a Y. P. Evangelistic Effort.” Australasian Record, October 9, 1933.

“A party of ten Adventists sailed…” Australasian Record, March 26, 1934.

Pengilley, R. E. “Melbourne Advent Band Attended Young Camp.” Australasian Record, May 7, 1962.

Piper, H. E. “Notes from Queensland.” Australasian Record, February 25, 1918.

Piper, L. A. “Prime Minister Enjoys Health Food Dinner.” Australasian Record, May 14, 1962.

Queensland Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages, https://www.qld.gov.au/law/births-deaths-marriages-and-divorces/family-history-research

Raethel, Elwyn. “Mr. and Mrs. Bert Ford anniversary.” Australasian Record, October 13, 1989.

“Retirements Bring Changes in S.H.F. Staff.” Australasian Record, June 15, 1964.

Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. Accessed November 28, 2016. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/

“Sister Fletcher, writing from Mussooree…” Australasian Record, October 3, 1921.

“Some Recent Changes.” Australasian Record, July 7, 1952.

“South New Zealand Conference and Camp Meeting.” Australasian Record, March 11, 1935.

Staff correspondent. “Religion in Industry Seen as Aid to Happiness.” Sydney Morning Herald, October 25, 1956. Cited in Australasian Record, November 19, 1956.

Stewart, A. G. “En Route to the Territory of New Guinea.” Australasian Record, April 10, 1933.

Stewart, A. G. “Calder-Martha Jane obituary.” Australasian Record, November 13, 1944.

Streeter, E. E. “In India.” Australasian Record, April 17, 1922.

Streeter, H. S. “Queensland Conference Session.” Australasian Record, November 21, 1932.

“The Mount Hagen Show.” Australasian Record, July 15, 1963.

Tinworth, C. W. “Annual Meetings in India.” Australasian Record, January 8, 1923.

Tinworth, C. W. “Belepa-Vailala District, Papua.” Australasian Record, February 12, 1951.

Tinworth, C. W. “Encouraging News from South India.” Australasian Record, October 15, 1923.

Tinworth, C. W. “Glimpses of Missions between Business Appointments.” Australasian Record, August 10, 1959.

Tinworth, C. W. “Our Largest Camp-Meeting.” Australasian Record, November 24, 1952.

Tinworth, C. W. “Scholarships Won by Two Indian Colporteurs.” Australasian Record, September 18, 1922.

Tinworth, C. W. “John Tinworth.” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976.

Tinworth, C. W. “The Birth Throes of a Mission.” Australasian Record, February 12, 1962.

V. M. R. “The Council in Progress.” Australasian Record, September 10, 1934.

Watson. C. H. “The Way of the Lord for His People.” Australasian Record, September 20, 1937.

“We are well and thoroughly…” Australasian Record, April 10, 1922.

“We regret that it has...” Australasian Record, October 14, 1929.

Weiss, C. C. “Relief for Fire Victims in Blue Mountains.” Australasian Record, January 27, 1958.

Whitson, Marita. Email message to author, September 28, 2016.

Notes

  1. Queensland Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages.

  2. “Life Sketch of the Late C. W. Tinworth,” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976, 6.

  3. C. W. Tinworth, “John Tinworth,” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976, 6.

  4. Ibid.

  5. “Life Sketch of the Late C. W. Tinworth.”

  6. “Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work, Queensland, January and February, 1911,” Australasian Record, April 10, 1911, 6; “Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work, Queensland, February and March, 1912,” Australasian Record, May 6, 1912, 6; “Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work, Queensland, April, 1912,” Australasian Record, June 3, 1912, 6; “Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work, Queensland, May, 1912,” Australasian Record, July 8, 1912, 6; “Monthly Summaries of Australasian Canvassing Work, Queensland, June, 1911,” Australasian Record, August 12, 1912, 4.

  7. Rhae Allbon, “The Sands of Time,” Australasian Record, November 6, 1916, 5.

  8. “Distribution of Labour,” Australasian Record, September 25, 1916, 6.

  9. “In response to requests...,” Australasian Record, February 26, 1917, 8.

  10. H. E. Piper, “Notes from Queensland,” Australasian Record, February 25, 1918, 8.

  11. “In the South Brisbane church…,” Australasian Record, June 9, 1919, 8.

  12. Marita Whitson, email message to author, September 28, 2016.

  13. Queensland Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages.

  14. Charles William Tinworth Personal Service Record, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Tinworth, Charles William,” document: “Personal Service Record;” Marita Whitson, email message to author, September 28, 2016, “Information on Charles William Tinworth.”

  15. “In response to a request from India…,” Australasian Record, April 4, 1921, 7; “Brother and Sister C. W. Tinworth…” Australasian Record, May 2, 1921, 8.

  16. “Sister Fletcher, writing from Mussooree…” Australasian Record, October 3, 1921, 8.

  17. “Brother Frank Butler has been...,” Australasian Record, March 6, 1922, 8.

  18. Tinworth, C. W., “Annual Meetings in India.” Australasian Record, January 8, 1923, 4-5; C. W. Tinworth, “Encouraging News from South India,” Australasian Record, October 15, 1923, 6.

  19. Charles William Tinworth Personal Service Record, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Tinworth, Charles William,” document: “Personal Service Record;” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “Lowry Memorial Higher Secondary School,” Accessed November 28, 2016, http://www.adventistyearbook.org/ViewEntity.aspx?EntityID=12889.

  20. C. W. Tinworth, “Scholarships Won by Two Indian Colporteurs,” Australasian Record, September 18, 1922, 3-4.

  21. “Distribution of Labour,” Australasian Record, September 5, 1927, 5, and W. W. Fletcher, “Recent Actions of the Union Conference Committee,” Australasian Record, April 9, 1928, 8.

  22. “Retirements Bring Changes in S.H.F. Staff,” Australasian Record, June 15, 1964, 8.

  23. “We regret that it has...,” Australasian Record, October 14, 1929, 8.

  24. G. T. Chapman, “A Story of God's Providence,” Australasian Record, November 6, 1933, 3.

  25. H. S. Streeter, “Queensland Conference Session,” Australasian Record, November 21, 1932, 6.

  26. “Distribution of Labour,” Australasian Record, September 18, 1933, 5-6, and V. M. R., “The Council in Progress,” Australasian Record, September 10, 1934, 8.

  27. A. S. Herbert, “South New Zealand Annual Conference Session and Camp Meeting,” Australasian Record, March 12, 1934, 5.

  28. “Jubilee Celebrations at P.C.S.,” Australasian Record, July 1, 1935, 6.

  29. Adele Nash, “Historic NZ Church Celebrates 80 Years,” Australasian Record, January 14, 2006, 4.

  30. Charles William Tinworth Personal Service Record, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Tinworth, Charles William,” document: “Personal Service Record;” “A missionary family from India…,” Australasian Record, May 9, 1938, 8.

  31. “Another matter of major importance...,” Australasian Record, May 8, 1939, 8; “News Notes,” Australasian Record, May 22, 1939, 8.

  32. “Brother C. W. Tinworth...,” Australasian Record, November 9, 1942, 8.

  33. “Consequent upon certain adjustments...” Australasian Record, August 9, 1943, 8, and “Retirements Bring Changes in S.H.F. Staff,”

  34. Staff correspondent, “Religion in Industry Seen as Aid to Happiness,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 25, 1956, cited in Australasian Record, November 19, 1956, 3-4; Marita Whitson, email message to author, September 28, 2016, “Information on Charles William Tinworth.”

  35. Marita Whitson, email message to author, September 28, 2016.

  36. A. G. Stewart, “Martha Jane Calder obituary,” Australasian Record, November 13, 1944, 7.

  37. Laurence Gilmore, “Who Served to Save,” Australasian Record, August 30, 1971, 13.

  38. Marita Whitson, email message to author, September 28, 2016.

  39. C. W. Tinworth, “Belepa-Vailala District, Papua,” Australasian Record, February 12, 1951, 6; C. W. Tinworth, “Glimpses of Missions between Business Appointments,” Australasian Record, August 10, 1959, 8; C. W. Tinworth, “Our Largest Camp-Meeting,” Australasian Record, November 24, 1952, 4, 5; “At the end of this month...” Australasian Record, May 4, 1959, 8; C. W. Tinworth, “The Birth Throes of a Mission,” Australasian Record, February 12, 1962, 3-4; “The Mount Hagen Show,” Australasian Record, July 15, 1963, 2.

  40. “Retirements Bring Changes in S.H.F. Staff,” 8.

  41. Laurence Gilmore, “Who Served To Save,” 13.

  42. L. C. Naden, “Charles Tinworth obituary,” Australasian Record, October 18, 1976, 14.

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Tarburton, Shirley. "Tinworth, Charles William (1898–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed May 19, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E86D.

Tarburton, Shirley. "Tinworth, Charles William (1898–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access May 19, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E86D.

Tarburton, Shirley (2020, January 29). Tinworth, Charles William (1898–1976). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 19, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E86D.