No. 853 - Moonah - Salvation Army Hall

Moonah is a suburb of Greater Hobart and is located approximately 5 kilometres north of the central business district. Moonah was previously known as South Glenorchy before it was developed as a residential area in the late 19th century.

The Companion to Tasmanian History has the following concise summary of the history of the Salvation Army in Tasmania:

“The Salvation Army had a seminal link with Tasmania. Launceston businessman and philanthropist Henry Reed, living in London, gave William Booth over £5000 to establish the Salvation Army on a firm footing in about 1870. In 1883 the Salvation Army Launceston Corps began operating, and corps were formed in Hobart, Latrobe, Waratah and other towns. Marches by these 'militant servants of Christ' through the two main cities with loud music attracted the larrikin element or 'roughs', who exploded flour bombs in the Salvationists' faces or threw mud and beer. Some Salvationists were arrested for marching without permission or refusing to desist from making excessive noise, but the 1891 visit of General Booth ensured the success of the Salvationists. They worked in gaols and courts, and their social work included managing child endowment, running soup kitchens in the winter and during depressions, and distributing clothes. Maternity hospitals were opened in Hobart (1897) and Launceston for unmarried mothers and other young women 'to whom life had been unkind'. During the Second World War Salvationists ministered to the troops in military camps, organised community singing among rural workers, and, in Hobart and Launceston, opened accommodation for women”.

The Salvation Army began working in Moonah in the 1920s and by late 1929 were in a position to build a hall on Park Grove Road (now Hopkins Street). A brief report in the Hobart Mercury records the opening hall on Wednesday 15 January 1930:

“In the presence of a fairly large and representative gathering, - a new corps of the Salvation Army was inaugurated at Moonah last night, and Captain Hewitt, who will be assisted in his work In the district by Lieut. Moore, was installed by Major Roach, the divisional commander of the army in Tasmania. The Salvation Army has been able to secure a spacious and well ventilated hall in a central position in Park Grove Road. It Is a weatherboard structure with a cosy interior. Oak, panelling adorns the walls, and a platform has been erected at one end. The furnishings, too, are appropriate for the work in the district. There is ample seating accommodation to make the work successful”.

The weatherboard hall was replaced by a modern brick building in the 1960s.  In 2019 the Salvation Army moved to more central premises in Glenorchy central business district.

                               The original weatherboard Salvation Army Hall on Hopkins Street
                                                 photo credit: Glenorchy history Society

         The 'new' Salvation Army building on Hopkins Street that has been recently vacated.

Sources:

Mercury, Thursday 16 January 1930, page 10
https://www.glenorchygazette.com.au/salvation-army-opens-new-centre-in-glenorchy/
https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/S/Salvation%20army.htm

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