An elegant building stands on the Penquite Campus of Scotch Oakburn College.
Known as the War Service Memorial Chapel, it was planned in 1955 on the initiative of Mr AR Bennett, a parent, and Mr JN Guy, President of the Parents and Friends Association, to honour Old Collegians who served and gave their lives in two Great Wars.
Initial drawings were prepared by the then-headmaster, the Reverend RH Dean and submitted to the Presbyterian Church Architectural Committee.
The plans and specifications were prepared by architect Gordon H Willing of Roy Smith, Willing and Newman with several suggestions from the committee.
The plans were adopted by the church and college administrations.
The Parents and Friends made this its special project, diverting much of its funds to the construction. Mr Bennett gave his time and energy voluntarily to oversee the work.
Many parents, friends, collegians, students and staff joined their labours to set the foundations and structural forms under the supervision of Mr Bennett.
The foundation stone was laid on June 29, 1957.
The parents of the writer were among those who laid two rows of bricks each around the walls as the chapel started to grow. This was a popular exercise with everyone.
Several parents in business also gave their labours in donation, painting – Mr TB Reinmuth, plumbing, Mr HJ Dell and the Chilcott family, all the electrical work.
The mothers and friends engaged in the task of fundraising, and by January 1961, £14,200 had been raised.
Inside the new chapel, the master craftsman, Mr Gordon Cumming was engaged to undertake the carving of the pulpit, communion table, memorial pews, lectern and other timber furnishings of fine Tasmanian oak.
The service of opening and dedication was conducted on Saturday February 18, 1961 by the Right Reverend F Sadler and the Moderator of the Combined Assembly, the Right Reverend CW Auldist, B.A., B.D.
In a 20th Century Architectural Survey prepared for the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is a brief description: ‘An L-shaped brick college chapel, with a steeply pitched tiled roof. The building’s main interest is in the way it steps in plan to create a tall high form with stepped engaged piers at the front entry.’
The War Service Memorial Chapel is highly valued by the college and used for pastoral care, chapel services and special events such as House Group services, funerals, marriages and baptisms by staff, students, collegians and the broader college community.