Book launch: Faith in Action tells the history of HammondCare

The story of HammondCare - 'a significant part of the fabric of this country' - is told in historian Meredith Lake's new book, Faith in Action, published by NewSouth Publishing and launched in Sydney on March 20.

Faith In Action was officially launched by Sky News and Hope 103.2FM presenter, Leigh Hatcher, at the Museum of Sydney and later at a second event at Hammondville.

A large contingent of original Hammond Pioneer Homes residents were special guests at both events and rarely seen film of Rev Bob Hammond describing the start of the project was screened. See it here.

The beautifully designed, 404 page hardcover book includes a remarkable gallery of black and white and colour historic photos including many never seen before - such as a serene-looking "Mr Eternity", Arthur Stace, seated in the Hammond Hotel Chippendale in the 1930s.

From Depression homes to leading charity

Maverick Archdeacon Robert Hammond, Minister of St Barnabas’ Church, Broadway, established Hammond’s Pioneer Homes during the depths of the Great Depression to provide affordable homes for struggling families.

By 1940, Hammondville, on the outskirts of Sydney, had 110 homes, a school, general store, post office and church, and was a nationally recognized model for small-scale land settlement.

In the early 1950s the organisation established Hammondville Homes for Senior Citizens, one of Australia’s first integrated facilities for disadvantaged elderly people.

Today, HammondCare services a wide range of people with complex health and aged care needs, through dementia and aged care services, palliative care, rehabilitation, and mental health programs.

From localised home provider to one of the nation’s most respected health and aged care providers, Faith in Action chronicles the remarkable 80-year history of independent Christian charity HammondCare.

Voices of the 'slum children' and 'confused and infirm'

Arthur Stace, Mr Eternity, Eternity, Faithin Action, HammondCare, Hammondville, new book, Meredith LakeSmall section of an amazing 1930s photo of Arthur Stace from Faith in Action. © HammondCare

Author Meredith Lake is an historian with a PhD from the University of Sydney, where she has also taught courses in Australian history.

In her introduction to Faith in Action, Meredith writes that while HammondCare's story might never emblazon the Sydney Harbour Bridge - as did Hammond convert and co-worker Arthur Stace's "Eternity" in 2000 - "it is a significant part of the fabric of this country" which illuminated, among other things "one of the most interesting and important questions in contemporary Australia: what is a Christian charity?"

And the voices of the many vulnerable people impacted by HammondCare during its 80 year history are not forgotten in this story.

"HammondCare's story cannot be properly told without reference to those it hoped to benefit: slum children and their workless fathers, the aged poor, the confused and infirm, victims of accident, grief and trauma, those living on the threshold of death."

To purchase Faith in Action for $59.95 please click here.

RBS Hammond joins Twitter

STOP PRESS: The inspiring challenging words of the founder of Hammondville and HammondCare will soon be available on Twitter. In an Australian first, a Twitter account dedicated to the great Australian social reformer will feature his timeless sayings from more nearly 40 years of writing, preaching, and communicating by the famous Broadway message board.

Follow @RBSHammond now.


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