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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Christmas 2016 issue

Mothers’ Union notes

We held our Autumn Coffee morning in the hall on Wednesday 12th October. Small cakes were served at the hatch along with the usual teas and coffees, we had a Bring and Buy table, MU Literature, with cards for every occasion as well as seasonal packs of Christmas cards and other merchandise, plus a raffle. The sum of £100 was later sent from this event to Mary Sumner House for their “MU Big Summer Appeal”.

Our speaker at our October meeting was the Rev George Gebauer, who spoke about his early life and times.

He was born in East Berlin in 1925. This was in the Depression years - money was short, but he had a very happy childhood, as part of a large extended family.

Things changed very quickly when Adolf Hitler came to power in the 1930’s. Germany, under the Nazi Party, became a one party state and dissent was not tolerated. Too late the people realised the Chancellor they had voted for had become a dictator who they would not be able to depose.

George joined the youth movement, originally like our scouts, called the Pathfinders but renamed the Hitler Youth Movement, the emphasis shifted to Patriotism and the belief that the Third Reich would last forever (in fact it lasted 12 years). The young people were taught map reading and survival training and went on Parades.

At 15 all teenage boys had to go to Military Awareness Camps for three weeks. When he was 18 years old he was called up. He joined the Signals Corps and after three months basic training was posted to France.

In August 1944 he was captured by the Americans, taken to England, then on to the USA. In April 1946 (still as a Prisoner of War) he came back to England and arrived at Ganger Camp near Romsey.

He did seasonal farm work and a variety of other jobs.

He fell in love with, and married an English woman named Gladys and stayed on in England, becoming a farmer and livestock breeder. He became a British subject on Boxing Day 1953.

He was licensed as a Reader in 1968 and Ordained on 1st July 1973, serving thereafter at Christchurch Portsdown and St John’s Purbrook.

This was an extremely interesting and inspirational talk of one man’s journey to faith. We could have listened to him for hours!

Janet Johnson