A simple ceremony at Nunawading Church in Melbourne, Victoria, recognised Erick van Schoonhoven for his outstanding dedication to raising funds for the new church building.
In more than two decades Mr van Schoonhoven, now in his 90s, raised more than $A250,000 for the project.
His effort was accomplished by selling used newspapers that members brought in; collecting, restoring and selling furniture; collecting, sorting and selling coins, artwork, jewellery, LP records, CDs and other artifacts.
His most successful fund-raising initiative was his now famous book sales at the church hall. “Every few months, the church hall was used to display and sell thousands of books that came from church members, deceased estates, excess stock from school libraries and other sources,” said retired pastor Tony Campbell who served as Nunawading senior pastor for 13 years.
“This involved countless hours of travelling all over Melbourne and country Victoria to collect his ‘stock’, sort it all and price the items before each sale,” he added.
To affirm and honour Mr Schoonhoven for his contribution, the church named its library after him, attaching a plaque in honour of his work.
Humbled by the recognition, Mr Schoonhoven said that it could not have been done without the help of the numerous church members who assisted in sorting, pricing, packing, unpacking and moving boxes of books.
“Yes, there was a lot of help but it would not have happened without Erick’s indefatigable drive,” concluded Pastor Campbell.