by Helen Brinkman
Matthew 19:26 assures us that, ‘with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.
Retiree Robert ‘Rob’ Krause reflects on that Bible verse when he thinks of the decades of service he has provided to his local community. It is service provided simply because he has seen a need and tried to help.
From reacting to a fear of fire by assisting a group to start a rural fire brigade, to responding to the call for a local Lutheran school, Rob’s need for action has come in many forms.
The fourth-generation dairy farmer’s home is the historic village of Marburg, on the scrubland between Brisbane and Toowoomba. Rob’s service to this regional community was recognised when he was awarded an Order of Australia medal in this year’s Australia Day Honours.
And his list of service is long! It includes decades of support for the local Marburg Show Society, activities in his Lutheran congregation of Rosewood, and supporting several local schools, among other volunteer roles.
Rob says it was a desire to help his local community that drew him to volunteer.
‘I guess it grew out of wanting to be part of the community, and to put in an effort to make things a bit better around the place’, Rob says.
‘Things were hard in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and a lot of us had to make our own entertainment, and it was a matter of wanting to help your neighbour.’
Rob has lived in Marburg for most of his 86 years. One of six children, he grew up on his parents’ dairy farm and eventually took over the farm from 1972 to 2002.
This personal connection with Marburg, 15 minutes west of Ipswich, helped Rob find ways to help out in his community, starting with the local show. As a schoolboy he began helping with stalls and acting as a steward, then gradually took on more jobs, which has led to his 75-year association with the Marburg Show Society.
Rob served as the show society’s president from 2006 to 2017. He has been a life member since 1994. In addition, he not only helped set up the Marburg Rural Fire Brigade but also became its treasurer for a time. He is a former member of Ipswich Council City Country Consultative Group and was chair of the Marburg State School Centenary celebrations in 1979.
Rob and his wife Janet have been members of the Rosewood congregation for more than 50 years. The pair met through church and the local rural youth group. They were also active in the activities of Lutheran Youth of Queensland.
In June they will celebrate their 50th anniversary. ‘She is my biggest support and strength’, Rob says.
Rob served as congregational chair for several years. Janet, a former school teacher, also took on the congregational chair role for a few years. Both have served as General Synod delegates and have held other congregational roles.
Always interested in education, from 1982 to 1993 Rob served as a board member of the Bethany Lutheran Primary School, Raceview, where their four sons attended.
Their children had all but finished secondary school when the idea of a new secondary school in the region was sown. And so planning began for the Faith Lutheran College in nearby Plainland, with the school opening in 1999 with about 35 students.
Rob was part of the planning committee and a member of the school council for a decade, from 1999 to 2009. With Faith College now educating almost 800 students from across the Ipswich and Lockyer region, Rob and Janet’s son Paul is among its teaching staff.
As grandparents to eight grandsons and one granddaughter, Rob and Janet say that there have been many times when they have seen the hand of God in their activities.
‘There were a lot of things that happened which were quite miraculous’, they recall.