No. 1228 - Wynyard - Salvation Army Hall (c.1892)

Wynyard is a town on the northwest coast approximately 20 kilometres west of Burnie. The area around Wynyard was originally named Table Cape by Bass and Flinders. However this was changed to Wynyard in the 1850s, named after Edward Buckley Wynyard, who was a Lieutenant-General in the New South Wales Corps. Until the 20th century Wynyard remained a small town with a population of less than 500.

The Salvation Army arrived at Tasmania in the early 1880s and first established bases at Launceston and Hobart. The reception to the ‘Army’ in Tasmania was initially hostile and sometimes even violent. Negative reactions to the Salvation Army were a response to the raucous nature of the ‘Army’s’ gatherings; middle class prejudice towards the working classes who were attracted to its meetings and because of its disruptive recruiting strategies which included street processions and open-air meetings. In Launceston and Hobart it was shadowed by a ‘skeleton army’ that parodied its marches and disrupted its meetings, sometimes violently. In Hobart the leader of the ‘Army’, Captain Gallagher, as well as others, were imprisoned for breaching municipal by-laws but were released after the intervention of the Attorney General.

The early history of the Salvation Army at Wynyard is not well documented. The ‘Army’ arrived at Wynyard in the early 1890s and established a barracks or hall from a ‘repurposed’ building on Jackson Street. This was sold in the early 1920s and moved to Hogg street after the Salvation Army began to use the town hall for its meetings. The old hall has a long an interesting history as was outlined in a 1939 a report published in the Advocate:

“No doubt the demand for houses causes owners to turn their attention to many old buildings. This is evidenced by conversion of the old Salvation Army barracks into an up to-date bungalow. It is over 80 years old and originally was used as a school in the old Wynyard cemetery of which the schoolmaster was the late Mr. Thomas Hainsworth. The hall was later used as the Church of England, with the late Rev. R. Smith in charge. Later it was sold to the Brethren, and removed [in]to Wynyard. It changed hands again to the Salvation Army, which conducted its meetings there for a considerable time…”.

By the 1930s the building was evidently already in a very poor condition. In 1933 a report in the Advocate drew attention to complaints made to the local council about a “dangerous property”:

“At Monday's meeting of the Table Cape Council a letter was received from a resident drawing attention to what was described as a menace to adjoining properties on account of the dilapidated condition of the old Salvation Army Hall in Hogg street. It was pointed out that the building had a shingle roof, and being particularly old a grave danger existed to adjoining properties in regard to fire. The insurance companies had declined to accept insurance on an adjoining building. It was requested that the council take some action to force the owners to remove the building. Several councillors expressed the opinion that the hall was a grave danger so far as fire risks were concerned, and in view of the fact that it was in such a condition that it would be of no further use for the purpose for which it was erected it should be demolished. It was decided that while the council was unable to force the owners of the property to remove it the council clerk should communicate with the officers of the Salvation Army”.

While the old hall had a new lease of life in 1939 following its incorporation into a house on Hogg Street, I have yet to establish if any part of the original building remains.

The Wynyard Salvation Army Hall as it appeared in 1912 - source: The War Cry


The War Cry 



The house on Hogg Street identified as the former Salvation Army Hall in an article published in the Advocate in 1954. The hall had also previously served as a school room and an Anglican church.


Sources:

Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette, Saturday 17 December 1892
The War Cry, Saturday 23 September 1916
Advocate, Tuesday 12 October 1926, page 6
Advocate, Tuesday 10 January 1928, page 7
Advocate, Wednesday 15 November 1933, page 6
Advocate, Tuesday 8 August 1939, page 6
Advocate, Saturday 9 October 1954, page 13

https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/S/Salvation%20army.htm











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