Passers-by might think the Old Emmanuel Church on Galston Road hasn’t changed since it was built in 1938, but they’d be wrong.
After a much larger Anglican church was established in Dural in 1983, the Old Emmanuel branch was closed, de-consecrated, and sold. Due to its heritage listing, the gothic style, brown brick building with rose and lancet type windows, remains outwardly the same. However inside, it is home to the utterly enchanting, Galston Branch of Hornsby Shire Council’s, Library and Information Service.
Just walk through the arched doorway and you’ll step back in time; into the realm of an old world book store – with library benefits. Like a tardis, the interior expands. All day, a kaleidoscopic pattern of light beams in through the rose window, slowly sweeping left to right, and illuminating the space from floor to cathedral ceilings. More light filters in through stained glass windows, and through glass bricks in the shape of a cross. The bookcases are stacked with a treasure trove of fiction, non-fiction, reference books, CD’s and magazines etc., and wooden troughs, accessible to little people, contain the children’s picture book collection. The library exudes character and charm, as do two of its ‘regulars’, David and Lucy. Constant companions, David and sixteen year old rescue dog Lucy, are well known in Galston. Lucy pads around ‘off leash’, to the shops and the library, where she’s content to rest awhile. Her tail wags often but her soulful gaze never strays far from the man with twinkling eyes, white beard and Christmas red braces, a gift from his grandchildren.
Inside this modest, brown building, surprise and delight awaits.
Inside, there’s an aura of anticipation which fuels the imagination and invites questions. I mean, ever wonder what the man with twinkling eyes, white beard and red braces does, in the lead up to the Silly Season? Perhaps he walks the dog, mixes with locals, drops in to the library and borrows David Baldacci thrillers… Just a thought…
So, don’t pass by the Old Emmanuel Church. Stop. Take time to visit the Galston library. Who knows? It might become one of your favourite things – this plain brown package tied up in string.
References: hornsby.nsw. gov.au/library & Wikipedia