Canon John Carlos William Stretch was the son of the first Australian-born bishop of the Anglican Church, Bishop John Francis Stretch, who served as Bishop of Newcastle from 1906 – 1919.
Canon Stretch was educated at Trinity College, Melbourne (1905 – 1907) and St John’s College Armidale. He was ordained Dean in 1909 and Priest in 1911, obtaining his Licentiate of Theology in 1911. Apart from a couple of years as Deacon at Christ Church Adelaide, South Australia (1910-1911), he lived and served most of his time in the Hunter Region. He served as Deacon-in-Charge of West Wallsend (1909-1910) and Merriwa (1911-1912), and as Priest-in-Charge of Toronto (1916-1918) and Weston (1921), before becoming Rector of Dungog (1922-1926), Merriwa (1926-1934) and, finally, St Paul’s Maitland (1934-1953), where he spent the bulk of his career. He became Rural Dean of Maitland in 1943 until his retirement in 1953, as well as Canon of Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle from1952-1953.
He was a photographer of note and loved keeping journals of his travels around the countryside in his automobile. He was also greatly interested in Aboriginal culture, especially the native languages, leaving a voluminous collection of word listings, indexes, manuscript notes, newsclippings, as well as a modest library. His correspondence reflected his interests in Aboriginal place names and fascination for the language and culture. In this regard he resembled another clergyman, the Rev L.E. Threlkeld, who, with his Aboriginal advisor, companion and friend, Biraban, recorded the words and soundings of the Awabakal language and other indigenous tongues of the Region. Canon Stretch’s papers were donated by Mrs Helen Pankhurst, and accessioned by Mrs Josie Stevenson.
Two notebooks 1945.
Folder contains newspaper clippings relating to religious news:
Copy of The Enchanting North by J.S. Fletcher. London, 1908. Christmas gift from W. W. Harris to Revd J.C.W. Stretch 1914.
Arthur E. Henderson. Illustrated with drawings by the author and photographs.
Folder labeled ABO33, 34, 35 containing manuscript materials of “Toponomy or Place Names of New South Wales, Their Origin, Meaning & Locality, Compiled by J.C.S.W.:
Folder containing items labeled Nos. ABO 40, 41, 42:-
File labelled ABO 43-49B Folder containing exercise books and a binder file and an envelope.
Blue Folder labeled ABO 50, 51, 52, 53 containing:
Blue Folder containing items labelled ABO 54,55,56,57,58,59 containing:-