A life of service to both church and the Baptist denomination by Jill Bambery, a long-time member of Palmerston North Central Baptist who passed away last August, is culminated by significant bequests she left to a variety of church, missionary and community groups.
Jill was the only child of Mona and Arch Bambery who became members of Central Baptist during the ministry of Rev Alan Finlay. Both Mona and Arch became very active in the church. Arch was a deacon, and the general superintendent when the church embraced the “All Ages Sunday School” movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.
As a teenager Jill was an enthusiastic member of the church youth groups and Easter camper, and later a Sunday school teacher for many years. Mona died in 1964, and later Jill devoted herself to the care of her father until his passing in 1982.
After leaving Palmerston North Girls’ High School, where she had been a prefect, Jill trained for primary teaching. After several years teaching, she and another Central girl, Judith Rennie, attended the then Bible Training Institute in Auckland.
They became active in the work of the Baptist Maori Mission in the Waikato. At the completion of their training both took up teaching positions at the Te Kohanga Primary School, and continued their support of the Maori Mission in the district.
After several years Jill took up an office position with the Baptist Union, which was then based in Wellington. She commuted between Wellington and Palmerston North in the weekends, supporting her father and keeping up an active involvement in her home church.
When the Baptist Union head office moved to Auckland, Jill moved back permanently to Palmerston North and took up an office position with the then DSIR. Part of her work was to support the research scientists in typing up their reports and papers.
Jill was a committed supporter of world-wide missionary work and particularly the NZBMS. Up until her death, she was a faithful member of BMF.
Jill never married. She had many interests; she loved scrap-booking and was a member of the church’s craft group, teaching calligraphy, and helping with other crafts. She was a lover of old English homes and gardens, porcelain dolls and teddy bears, and had an extensive library covering these interests. Her garden was her pride and joy. Jill won prizes for the front garden and the back courtyard of her home. She loved visiting gardens and garden shows, attending musical shows and concerts, and travelling with friends for these.
Jill passed away suddenly following a short period of ill-health, but she leaves behind a wonderful legacy of faithful stewardship and service to her Lord.
– Noel Harris and Lesley Anderson