No.865 Burnie - The Former Ladbrooke Street Salvation Army Hall

Burnie is a port city on the north-west coast of Tasmania. The origins of the town date back to 1827 when a settlement was established at Emu Bay by the Van Diemen’s Land Company. The settlement was later renamed Burnie after William Burnie, a director of the Van Diemen's Land Company.

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”.

“After 1945 the Salvation Army responded to new social problems by extending its services into assisting the homeless, missing persons, drug, gambling and alcohol abuse, disability and migrant services, employment and aged accommodation, and helped in emergencies like the 1967 bushfires”.

The former hall situated on Ladbrooke Street is the second of three Salvation Army halls established within the city. The first hall was located in a former Wesleyan Methodist church on Cattley Street. This was sold to the Country Women’s Association in 1954 although the Salvation Army continued to use the premises until the Ladbrooke Street hall was built. The third and current hall was built on Wilson Street. These two halls will be the subject of further posts on ‘Churches of Tasmania.




Sources:

The Advocate, Saturday 11 December 1954, page 17
https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/S/Salvation%20army.htm - Written by Stefan Petrow for the Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies (2006)

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