Salvos celebrate 137th birthday
1 September 2017
Did you know that The Salvation Army in Australia started in typically "Aussie‟ style, under a gum tree, with a guy giving an invitation to a BBQ? Well, we don‟t know if it was an actual BBQ… BUT John Gore, the founder of the Salvos in Australia was standing on the back of a horse-drawn cart, underneath a River Red Gum in Adelaide‟s Botanic Gardens on 5 September, 1880, issued this invitation:
‘If there is any man here who hasn’t had a meal today, let him come home with me.’
Since that day The Salvation Army has served countless meals for people in need. You can find The Salvation Army in city streets, on rural farms and in suburban centres. Our people are on the ground, day and night, bringing hope to those who need it most.
Did you know?
Did you know that The Salvation Army in Sydney began in Paddy‟s Markets? On Sunday 3 December 1882, a little band of Salvos, led by Captains Thomas and Adelaide Sutherland led a public meeting in the market.
People joke about Salvos being "tetotallers‟ but did you know that in the late 1800s we actually produced and sold our own brand of tea? Called Hamodava Tea, it was purchased from overseas using ethical suppliers, packaged and sold to fund the work of the Salvos in Australia. One of the earliest free trade enterprises perhaps?
The BISCUIT CONNECTION: Did you know that Arthur Smith Arnott was a Salvation Army officer? Son of legendary Australian biscuit-maker, William Arnott who founded the Arnott Biscuit Company, Arthur joined The Salvation Army in Newcastle and eventually became an officer in the late 1800s. A gifted musician, many of his compositions are still used around the world today. There will always be questions about whether the great Aussie biscuit, SAO, was named for the Salvo‟s - do the initials stand for “Salvation Army Officer”?
In 1890, Australia experienced the worst depression the country had known, with unemployment worsening each day. By winter 1890, the Army had decided to open a free labour bureau in Melbourne to help people find jobs, the first known employment bureau in Australia to be operating in a formal way.
Operating from 1897 to 1910, The Salvation Army Limelight Department was Australia's first film production company. Among its many achievements, The Limelight Department is credited with producing the world‟s first multi-media presentation using the moving picture film technology of the day. The film, „Soldiers of the Cross‟, was produced during 1900 and the Limelight Department also recorded the birth of the nation at Federation in 1901.
The service of The Salvation Army during World War 1 and World War 2 endeared the organisation to the hearts and minds of Australians, and tales of Salvo heroics, (at times turning up on the battlefront before the troops) became folklore.
Today, The Salvation Army provides 100,000 meals for the hungry, 2,000 beds for the homeless, refuge for 500 victims of abuse and assistance for 1,000 people looking for employment. We are one of the largest charity organistions in Australia operating over 1500 programs across the country.