Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Beatrice Violet Robinson 1925-1994

Born in Manly NSW, Beatrice was the eldest and only girl of five children. Beatrice attended Wahroonga Preparatory School briefly and then attended Abbotsleigh until matriculation in 1942.

Beatrice spent a few years in Europe in the mid 1950's studying painting and drawing at the Central School of Arts, London as well as traveling in Europe and the Holy Land. Beatrice was a skilled artist and maintained a steady flow of works throughout her life.

On returning to Australia she attended Sydney University and in November 1963 graduated with a B.A.,ThL. Beatrice was ordained in St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney on 11th June 1965.

She was deeply involved with the Healing Ministry not only at St Andrew's but through the Order of St Luke, becoming a member in 1965. Beatrice had a varied ministry career including Divinity Mistress at SCEGGS Redlands, Parish appointments at The Holy Trinity, Dulwich Hill and St Johns, Launceston as well as scripture Teaching in High Schools with the Board of Education.

In the 1960's, Gerald Hercules Robinson, Beatrice's father, had resolved to establish a Bible Garden on property he owned at Palm Beach. It was modelled on the garden that had recently been completed in the precincts of the Bangor Cathedral in Wales, UK.

Following her father's death in 1972 Beatrice took up residence at the Bible Garden site in Palm Beach and worked very hard not only in the garden itself as well as importing seeds from Israel and plants from all over Australia. Beatrice sold all her assets and put them into the Bible Garden Trust that administered the garden, as the money set aside for its maintenance was long gone. In addition to ministry duties Beatrice went back to work part-time to support the ongoing expense of the Garden.

For the next 15 years she divided her time between the Garden and her duties as Deaconess at St David's Palm Beach and St Mark's Avalon.

In the late 1980's Beatrice developed cancer, which she fought with the same faith, indomitable courage and dedication she had applied to her church duties and the Bible Garden for so many years.

Beatrice died on June 10 1994. There is a Memorial plaque to her memory in the grounds of St David's at Palm Beach.

In her will, Beatrice wished that an endowment be made for a scholarship for a suitable applicant to undertake special theological study and/or study of Biblical botany for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the Bible Garden Memorial Trust. This has now been established through the St Marks National Theological Centre with funds made available from the Bible Garden Memorial Trust, and is known as the Beatrice Robinson Scholarship. The first scholarships were awarded a ceremony at St Mark's on Ascension Day, 17 May 2007.