Updated: Jan 5, 2020
1. As a little boy I was quiet and shy
A humble farmer’s son
One of five boys to mum
And the second to come.
2. The five boys were known
As polite, neat and happy
They played for the football team,
Two of them were snappy!
3. Those two excelled at sport
But that was not me
Oh, I did OK, I suppose,
But a champion I’d never be.
4. My father was a Christian man
A Lutheran through and through
He fought bravely in World War Two,
In Dutch New Guinea and the Islands.
5. He married the youngest sister of a soldier mate,
Whom he visited after the war on his farm
Courted her and introduced his brother
And he married her sister too!
6. Dad always said he wanted to be a Pastor
But he never had the chance to study
Instead his father directed him
To farm the ground for money.
7. So, when it came time for me
To choose what I would do,
The choice was long ago decided
I should that career pursue.
8. It was to college that I went,
To learn Latin and English well,
Then in the years to follow
Go to Luther Seminary to dwell.
9. Never have I regretted
The years of study there,
God’s word inspired and enlightened me
But as my career it was not to be.
10. Teaching kids was more my passion
So, I finally resigned my space,
Went home to tell my father,
Downcast was his face!
11. University followed strong
And graduate I did,
Distinction, credits were received,
Then off to Enfield I was bid.
12. It was not easy, I’ll admit
To teach the biggest class at school,
Thirty-three Year Six and Sevens,
Some who sometimes played the fool.
13. Four years I toiled with Hoffy there,
Then calls to Principalship came,
Three at once there were
But it was Gatton who won my name.
14. By this time, I was married,
To a wonderful young bride,
She was a Kindergarten teacher,
A great person to have at my side!
15. The new school started with only a few,
But it was not long before it grew,
The years passed quickly,
There were now three in my family instead of two.
16. Another call came and off we went,
Back to Adelaide for more time spent,
Twins arrived and the school grew,
But my principalship from there went.
17. And so, it was to Bethany in Queensland
That I took another call,
To once again a fulltime teacher be,
I really loved the place as you will see.
18. Here it was our children grew,
And as well as teach I studied too,
Administration took my fancy,
Again, a principalship to ensue!
19. A church was built and the school demolished,
New buildings built and curriculum polished,
Teachers came as the school grew,
Stage Based education flourished.
20. The years went on at a pace,
Thirty years passed in time,
And suddenly I was not fine,
God called for me to resign.
21. It was to hospital I went,
A Double Bypass quickly done,
The ticker fixed – not much fun,
But God another victory won.
22. And so, today, here I stand
Famous words that Luther said,
There is more to do for God yet,
You must get up out of bed.
Neil P. Schiller 08.12.19
(written before church on the day LEA presented a Service to Lutheran Schools Award for over 40 years in Lutheran Education)