In 1992 the Minister of Blackwood Uniting Church, Rev Geoff Bridge, was discussing the Church’s contribution to the community with parishioner Rod Pike. The concept of doing something special with the very prominent front of the Church at the roundabout came up and the idea of a Christmas Star was conceived.
Rod designed and built the star. He enlisted help from experienced metal worker, the late Eric Jenner, to machine special wall studs and to weld an octagonal supporting frame. Electrical Engineer, the late Tom Way, fitted the 100 small light bulbs and made a timed transformer unit.
Mounting the star high on the wall for Christmas was going to require the use of a very large ‘cherry picker’. Rod contacted the officer in charge of the nearest ETSA depot and found a helpful ally.
Each year the star was carried from its storage shed in Eden Hills with help from John Whitbread and on the appointed day a friendly ETSA team would arrive with one of the special trucks to lift the star onto its studs. After the Christmas Season an ETSA team would appear again to take the star down.
In recent years Graham Brown and the Church Property Committee have taken over the project, repainting the star and upgrading the lights.
The star is now housed much closer to the Church.
In the early stages of construction, the plan was explained to the children of the Church with the idea that they could own the lights. One Grandmother recalls her grandson exclaiming excitedly “that’s my little light up there!”