It was wartime, and Rolph was in his last year at primary school. A police car arrived at our farm and mother was given 20 minutes to pack. Rolph and two younger sisters arrived home from school. “Where’s mother?” Rolph could not see her, nor even write to her for three long years. It was war, and we were branded as enemies.
He was meant for further education and we wanted a Lutheran context, so at the age of barely 12 he went to Immanuel in Adelaide, and that, in effect, was the end of his family life. For four years Immanuel was now his home, followed by Seminary, and as a pastor the rest of his life in South Australia. In all this time, by the grace of God and his own strength of character, this in no way diminished the strong bond of love and affection that has always existed in our family.
Wherever he went people took him into their hearts and homes as he radiated an infectious warmth. Currently we face a pandemic that brings suffering and death. Rolph radiated warmth, laughter and life, and everywhere I later went, I felt proud and honoured to be welcomed, “Oh, you’re Rolph’s brother!”
He had a special gift as a communicator. In his hands even the most difficult concepts became clear and understandable, above all in communicating the Gospel. This was his all-consuming passion, and, apart from Luther himself, I have grasped the Christ-centred understanding of Scripture more clearly from him than from anyone else.
Lutheran Teachers College (LTC)
The students were never made to feel that they were in a classroom, but that they together with the faculty were on a journey of research and discovery, finding their own talents, plus seeing how the Gospel brought everything together.
Their Hill Street home
We would be amazed to know how many people walked into the home at Hill Street and left feeling loved and refreshed. Rolph and Margaret had a unique gift of making everyone feel special and wanted.
Rolph, you were God’s special gift to us, and we miss you!