Happy Memories 

by Judith Bond (nee Steward) // 16 August 2020

Living for three years in a village in East Java 1954-57 for me was a very happy memory. It began my interest and love of Asian people. 


On our return to South Australia in 1957, our family lived at St Mary’s. Dad reached out to Asian university students. My parents loved standing as ‘mum or dad’ as the students were a long way from home. Students were invited to our home for meals. Mum often added more water to the soup, rice to the pot and fresh fruit to the fruit salad. All enjoyed a home-cooked meal. As parents had lived in Indonesia, they understood the Asian culture and food. Mum tried to cook Asian meals like fried rice, curry and sweet and sour.


We met students on their arrival at Adelaide Airport. Often, overseas guests stayed with us, increasing Mum’s home responsibilities. We referred to Mum as the Steward’s Motel. One lady student arrived from her home country wearing sandals. It was winter, so Mum took her to buy covered shoes. Another arrived with no coat, so it was to the shops to buy a warm coat.


I was honoured to have decorated the wedding cake for Lily Lim and Tony Loy.

Younger sister Elisabeth is thankful for dentist Peter Cheng, who at a Sunday lunch, pointed out that she needed braces as she could not put her top teeth over the bottom ones. Elisabeth was grateful to have braces in grade 7!


My parents attended many graduation ceremonies at Adelaide University. 


Parents loved being host parents at conventions and took us children along. I remember attending the first OCF Convention at St Peters College, Adelaide in 1959-60. As a young teenager, I was more interested in being friends with students! My siblings Ruth joined the Bible studies, John played cricket with the men while I minded younger sisters Miriam, Elisabeth and Priscilla, to enable our parents to attend the Bible studies.

Ruth attended the 3rd OCF Convention at Kings College Brisbane in 1962. Our family drove to Bathurst NSW for the 4th OCF in 1963. I remember the theme at the 6th OCF Convention at Victor Harbour South Australia in 1965 was ‘To Live is Christ’.


I accompanied my parents to the 40th OCF in Malacca in 1999 and I attended the 50th OCF in 2009.  It was exciting to renew friendship with many of the original ‘aunties and uncles’ from the first six conventions.

For more than sixty years, my parents have given their time to listen, advise and offer guidance to numerous overseas students. They have been role models for many. I am thankful and happy for long-lasting memories.  Great things He has done!