# 34558

[RENNIE, Charles, 1848-1930]

[MELBOURNE] Illuminated address for Charles Rennie Esq., presented by the minister and parishioners of the Presbyterian Church, Brighton. October, 1886.

$750.00 AUD

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Large folio portfolio (490 x 390 mm), full crushed red morocco elaborately gilt (lightly scuffed, worn at corners and spine ends), front board lettered ‘To Charles Rennie, Esq. / Presbyterian Church, Brighton, October 12th 1886’; gilt dentelles and silk-lined inner front board; the illuminated address itself, expressing the gratitude of ‘the Elders, Managers, Members and Adherents of the Presbyterian Church Brighton’ to Charles Rennie for his services to the church as Secretary and Choir Leader, was presented on the occasion of Rennie’s departure for ‘a new locality’ (Malvern); calligraphic manuscript with gold highlights and watercolour decoration on parchment, signed at the foot by the church minister, D. H. Ballantyne, and other office-bearers; the address is set within an oval mount on the inside of the lower board, the border of the mount with floral decoration in watercolour; a few spots of silver fishing to the address and to the margins of the mount, otherwise very well preserved.

Charles Rennie (1848-1930), an accountant by training, was for many years a highly valued employee of the Southern Insurance Company in Melbourne. He eventually rose to the position of Manager (and, ultimately, was the company’s liquidator, when it folded in 1899). He then spent 16 years as General Manager of the British and Foreign Insurance Company. At various times he was also the elected representative of the Merchant Shipping and Underwriters Association. A devout Presbyterian with a strong philanthropic bent, Rennie also acted as auditor and honorary treasurer for the Orphanage Asylum, and as treasurer of the Royal Humane Society of Australasia. He was one of the first members of The Australian Club, and in 1886 he served as President of the Melbourne Athenaeum, one of the city’s most important cultural institutions.

Rennie was born in Coburg, Melbourne, in 1848, the son of Hugh Rennie, a pioneer of that district. He was an active member of the Coburg Presbyterian Church, and Secretary of its Sabbath School, throughout the 1870s. In December 1875 he married Frances Annie Cole, eldest daughter of John Cole of Merri Creek, Coburg. Around 1881 Charles purchased a residence near Dendy Road, Brighton, on the far side of Melbourne, and settled down there with Frances and their first child. The couple’s second child, a daughter, was born in Brighton in October that year, and another son at the end of 1884. Rennie left Brighton and moved to Malvern in 1886 – hence the occasion for the present illuminated address. In Malvern he continued to be an energetic and hardworking parishioner of the local Presbyterian Church. He died at his home, “Thanet”, in Wattletree Road, Malvern, in May 1930.

Rev. David Hunter Ballantyne (1823-1889) was born in Roxborough, Scotland. In June 1849 in Edinburgh he married Margaret Kennedy Smith. The couple arrived at Melbourne on 27 March 1850 per “Stratheden” from London. Ballantyne was ordained in Melbourne on 14 May 1851. He served the Presbyterian congregation of Albury, New South Wales, from 1851 to 1869. On his return to Melbourne in 1869, he was minister of the Brighton and Cheltenham congregations up until his retirement in 1887. He died at his home, ‘Inverarie’, at 3 Blenheim Street, Balaclava, on 27 April 1889. He is buried in the Brighton Cemetery.