In the death of Alan Truett on 25 May, the Diocese of Melbourne has lost an able and dedicated layman who gave it loyal and faithful service during the second half of the last century. His contributions to parish life centred round St Alfred’s, North Blackburn (of which he was one of the post-World War II founders) and later at Holy Trinity, Doncaster. He had strong links with CMS and Ridley College, serving them in his capacity as a very able and respected chartered accountant.

His direct diocesan contributions lay in the Council of the Diocese and, later, as a Lay Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral. He was always immensely proud of his Chapter membership.

Alan was a man of deep and simple faith articulated through his Evangelical background. It was a faith that was tested. Growing up in Colac, he inherited the advantages of a country upbringing, not least stability and directness. After coming to Melbourne, he joined the Army and was to serve until the end of the war. He then set to and, on a part-time basis, studied to attain his profession’s top qualifications. Through later amalgamations, his firm became part of Deloitte’s and, in time, he became a partner. He was incredibly modest about his substantial professional abilities.

Few people today can recall the psychological difficulties that ex-servicemen faced n seeking qualifications after their war service. Alan was blessed with a stable temperament and in later life he needed all of that, as well as his faith, to weather the loss of his first and second wives – Alice and Dorothy – as a result of terminal illness. Each of them gave him dear children but also the responsibility of looking after them. At his funeral service at Holy Trinity, Doncaster, after the liturgy, the local branch of the RSL held a brief service for a departed comrade, honoured by the attendance of 10 ex-servicemen.

People express their faith in different ways. Alan’s was quiet and unobtrusive, but it was deep. He loved the resonances of The Book of Common Prayer, and his fellowship with other Christians as in the Anglican Men’s Society and a small luncheon group on Synod veterans. He had his share of illness and made a remarkable recovery from cardiac arrest in recent years. However his health deteriorated again earlier this year and some of his friends visited him only four days before his death.

 

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