Kelvin and Lexie Crombie have lived in Israel for nearly twenty-five years, and their four daughters, Orit, Nirel, Talia and Abigail were all born there.
Kelvin was based at Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. He developed an intimate and profound knowledge about the history of the restoration of Israel and particularly the role of the ANZACs in that restoration, and has published a book, documentary video and pamphlets on the subject.
Kelvin first became interested in Israel while growing up on a wheat, sheep and pig farm at Babakin near Corrigin in the central wheat belt of West Australia.
This interest developed due to the service of uncles in the Middle East as Australian soldiers during the Second World War; and also due to various direct Israeli connections such as an Israeli family on a nearby farm; and the Six Day War in 1967.
He subsequently went to Israel in 1979 and took up residence in Jerusalem working at a hospital for handicapped children and then an old people’s home.
Involvement at Christ Church
In 1986 Kelvin was asked by to become the guide at Christ Church, the Anglican church in the old city of Jerusalem, hosting thousands of people monthly, including secular Israelis studying the beginning of modern history in Jerusalem and the land of Israel.
It so happened that the beginnings of modernization in Jerusalem were synonymous with the construction of Christ Church and the work of early Protestants in the land.
As guide he not only had to lecture these numerous groups, but also had to undertake considerable research. During this research he discovered numerous historical artifacts. These included several large and unique models of Jerusalem as well as the largest portrait of Jerusalem, the 1879 Jerusalem Panorama a painting and the very special Montgomery Bible. One model, discovered by Kelvin in 1986 was made in Jerusalem in 1864 revealed a tunnel going under Christ Church. In that same year, 1986, the tunnel was re-discovered, but not excavated.
These artifacts then served as the basis for a museum that he developed at Christ Church when he also became Guest House manager in 1990.
These projects brought Kelvin into contact with numerous Israeli academics with whom he often works on joint projects.