Ivan and Alice Reichelt have been associated with many chapters of the Wesley Mission story. The couple were a major part of Lifeline’s founding team in 1963 and Ivan continued to serve as secretary for over twenty years.
Ivan and Alice dedicated their lives to Wesley Mission, and their legacy of care and compassion extends beyond their work with Lifeline. They were both active members of our congregation and were always willing to go that extra mile for someone in need, a trait Ivan carried on after Alice, his wife of 54 years, passed away in 1996.
Ivan shared his wisdom through counselling, lay preaching and leading fellowship groups until he too passed in 2015. This is how many of the younger members of the Wesley Mission family will remember this warm and loving man of Christ.
Ivan and Alice were pioneers in the counselling industry and instrumental players in the beginnings of Lifeline. They lead the movement to connect callers to the helpline with face to face services. These efforts were best shown through their service on the Trouble Teams – emergency counsellors who were available to travel to people in distress 24 hours a day; and their nationwide trip to connect with Lifeline callers.
In 1985, Ivan and Alice set out on a six month journey, with caravan in tow, to meet people from all across Australia who had contacted Lifeline. Along the way, Alice collected recipes from the people she met and published them in a book, which she sold to raise much needed funds for their innovative service.
This is just one example of the couple’s innovative fundraising initiatives. In fact, their work was so impressive, Alice won Miss Spring Fair in 1989 and in 1990, Ivan was crowned Mr Spring Fair for raising the most funds.
Their legacy of love lives on through both the work of Wesley Mission and their family’s efforts to raise money to fund it.