2017 AGM Report (Sydney Chapter)
The Sydney Chapter of the society has held a number of successful events over the last 12 months. Following on the philosophy of trying to involve a wider cross-section of people the society we have initiated a number of events during the day and in venues other than the training college. At times this has resulted in the planning becoming somewhat untidy, trying to juggle dates and personnel to make things happen. However, by in large, it has resulted in events being well received and well attended.
I am most grateful to all members of the executive committee for their input and application to the work of the society and particularly outgoing members:
To vice-president – Dennis Garland – who has willing stepped into the role of president when I have been unavailable for health reasons
To secretary – Dianne Cameron who has always been available to not only carry out her secretarial role but also pick up the slack in other areas when needed. She now takes up the position as a member at large with responsibility for hostessing. And here I would want to thank all those who so willingly supply the excellent suppers and afternoon teas we have enjoyed.
The year in review
On Thursday 4 August 2016, prior to the AGM in the conference room at the Training College, guest presenter, Brenda Inglis-Powell spoke on her book, Soldiers in a Different Army. What started out as a quest to understand herself and her family, resulted in a published memoir as Brenda researched the life of her father. Brenda’s father William “Jock” Inglis became legendary Red Shield officer, Albert Moore’s Batman, and together they worked tirelessly for soldiers in the Middle East and on the Kokoda Track.
The Power of Song, an event to celebrate The Song Book of The Salvation Army was held at Hurstville Salvation Army on the afternoon of on 13th November 2016 and was well received with a capacity audience in attendance. The event was supported by Hurstville band and songsters, vocalists Mandy Williams and Darren Kingston, accompanist Margaret Ross, and presenter Janette Smart.
Despite oppressive heat at the Dee Why Salvation Army on 5th February 2017, a celebration of the 105th anniversary of Dee Why Corps drew a capacity crowd. The presentation of historical photos and video footage prepared by the Historical Society was presented by Lauren Martin with support by the Chatswood Band and special guests, Majors Bruce and Glenys Domrow, who were corps officers at Dee Why between 1997-2000.
On 1 April 2017 a Salvo History Tour took place with an interesting itinerary prepared by Ron Inglis. Two Hurstville Corps buses, with a capacity of approximately 32, were utilised to visit a variety of sites including Rookwood cemetery and the Kokoda walkway at Rhodes, both of which brought back memories of notable Salvationists.
On Sunday 30th July 2017 just on 200 people gathered at The Salvation Army at Menai to reflect on the 75th Anniversary of the historic battle for the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. Possibly no other ministry by Red Shield personnel has impacted the Army in the decades following World War 2. Prominent journalist, speaker and author, Peter FitzSimons, was the guest and entertained those gathered with colourful insights into the battle. Support for the Hurstville Band and members of a party that had walked the track on around ANZAC day 2017 brought music and colour to the event.
Electronic and social media
A determined effort has been made to engage the fields of electronic and social media and committee members have undertaken to explore and utilise these fields to not only promote the work of the historical society but to also further interest in Salvation Army history. We are most grateful to Steven O’Neill who has oversighted the website both for the Sydney Chapter and also the Brisbane Chapter. Nicole Park now comes onto the committee as a member at large and will take over the responsibility of the webpage and become member of the Electronic Media Committee which will now be chaired by Lauren Martin.
Lauren Martin has undertaken to set up and maintain a Facebook page for us and we are most grateful for her enthusiastic work in publicising the historical society through social media.
Since taking over as editor of Under The Tricolour, Allsion Briggs has packed the publication, which serves both Sydney and Brisbane chapters, with interesting and informative material. We are most grateful to Allsion for her commitment and hard work in regularly producing such an excellent publication.
Oral history project
The Oral History Project has not proceeded as well as we envisaged due to unforeseen circumstances and other unexpected claims on the time of those undertaking the project. It is hoped that this year we will see some progress being made with Lauren Martin combining interviews with her writing for the Others magazine.
Good working relationships have been maintained with the Brisbane Chapter under President Garth Hentzschel and we do share the webpage and newsletter with them. Garth has also undertaken the editorship of the Australian Journal of Salvation Army History which is an electronic journal available on our website, and is now published on a regular basis and is attracting worldwide interest and contributors from around the world.
At this point in time, we have no idea of how the territorial amalgamation is going to work out for historical societies across Australia. We have written to the chief secretary in relation to this matter but to date, no information has been forthcoming. However, it would seem that in the long run there will be some sort of restructure down the track.
The year ahead
The year ahead will see the society endeavouring to continue its philosophy of combining with other Salvation Army centres to celebrate history. We have intentionally adopted a program that seeks meaningful audience participation in our presentations and have been gratified by the significant numbers of people who continue to turn up to our partnered events.
To date, the following are in the pipeline for 2018:
- Bankstown corps centenary – March 2018
- Launch of history book on Stanmore House by Beryl Lingard.
We look forward in the year ahead to continued participation, not only by members of the Historical Society but also many others who have an interest in Salvation Army history and support our public meeting by turning up and participating.
Major David Woodbury
President, Sydney Chapter
28th September 2017