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“DOWN AND OUT”

REDEMPTION OF Tit E DERELICT. SYDNEY SLUM LIFE. The Rev. H. B. S. Hammond really does not need any introduction to this City, for the vigorous campaign which he conducted in the cause of temperance three years ago will not readily be forgotten, so that it was net surprising that the popular Anglican clergyman, who has won something of a reputation for fair, Tf hard, fighting, faced a big audience at the Garrison Hall last evening, when he lectured on ‘Derelicts.’ depicting graphically during the 90 minutes through which he held the close attention of his auditors some sidelights on slum life in Sydney, a phase, of work with which he has been prominently identified for many years. The audience were evidently thoroughly in accord with the statement of Professor Dunlop, who declared at the outset that Mr Hammond was one who had a strong claim upon their attention, because he stood for the great work which concerned them aii, and ho came from the greatest citv south of the line, or thereabouts—a place with a teeming population, where the social problem in which they were all keenly interested presented itself with special acuteness. They all recognised that that groat social problem which filled their horizon in these days was an exceedingly complex one, and to attack it they must get at it from all sides and all ancles. Mr Hammond had been energetically connected with social work for many, years over in Sydney, and the speaker, having been resident in that city, knew that the work in which their visitor had been engaged was one of very great difficulty, taxing greatly both the ingenuity and' perseverance of those who took it up.' Mr Hammond had, of course, been specially identified with one parti cular side of the social question—temperance reform —and although there were doubtless differences of opinion, temper--ance reform would, no doubt, do a very great deal to help on a satisfactory solution of the social problem. The reception accorded the lecturer was proof positive of his popularity. He explained that he faced them with a great deal of diffidence, and only consented to lecture under pressure, because his lecture was largely concerning personal experiences, and they mostly found people telling of personal experiences to be rather objectionable. But doubtless the audience were rather disinclined to agree with this assertion, for the lecturer met with a splendid hearing from start to finish : in his narrative of how the re- ! clemgtion of many of those who had been accounted social derelicts was achieved. He claimed that the redemption was brought about by a combination .if three things : work, wliich was an osj . entiul, for no man could be a self-respect - J iim man unless he had work; friendship.

me of the safest .and strongest things in life ; and faith in the redeemer. And having briefly introduced Jus subject, the speaker proceeded to make effective use of the lantern, leading off with a cartoon depicting how the love of money interfered with the outlook of many, a' a result of which there was no helpin' hand held out to those who were sui merged in the stream, but who might ii . time be reclaimed and induced to beconr self-respecting citizens. Within a radiur of 308 yards in a portion of Sydney there were 31 public houses, so that there was not a great deal of opportunity for a man to go thirsty in that particular locality, and the over-supply of publichouses was very largely responsible for the fact that it was the best possibh area for hunting up derelicts. In anoth' ) place there were 28 public-houses within a radius of 220 yards, and, as a matter of fact, the four corners of one strep* had five public-houses. The speaker claimed that the thing which dominated must be held responsible, and as liquid dominated, it must be held responsibh for the derelicts, and must be some jus lification for rooting it out. Of his nwi work in Surrey Hills Mr Hammond had much to say that was interesting, and Ir emphasised the fact that with all its fine modern buildings, Sydney yet contained its slum areas, where people lived under conditions which were absolutely demoralising to children. Water found the lowest level, and so the derelict found a place in the slums. The speaker had had five murders within 200 yaids of his -church in 12 months, every one resulting from drink, and three from the use of Urn bottle. The clergyman was a very strange man if he did not go out and oppose a thine like that, which was intruding itself in such a. forcible way. Children living together under poor circumstances such as he had instanced did not get a fait chance, and if liquor was the hugest eon tributing cause, it udiould be the first b be tackled. ,' I The lecturer’s story of his personal re collections of the work of the redemptm of derelicts —men/ who were down nr out, as he put it—Avon many bursts of ar plausc. Unfortunates who had bee found sleeping out in the parks had bee taken into the home provided, and rehabilitated. Thev had left drink alone. Almost hopeless cases had been treated with success. Perhaps the best comment offered on the work w r as that of Lord Dudley, who, after seeing what was being done, and seeing the type of mai that had fallen, declared that it - had , impressed him more than anything else hhad seen in his travels in Australia. Once Mr Hammond’s talk drifted from the redemption of men, and he spoke re gretfully of the fact that last year therwere over 4,G00 convictions registered against- women. He confessed he you!-’ <y> only one thing, and he was reclaimin' men, but” added in a brief -sentence —and one which conveyed great meaning—that if they had seen what he had seen of [ the result of women drinking they wcrrfd ’ not wonder why he hated drink.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141021.2.90

Bibliographic details

“DOWN AND OUT”, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914

Word Count
1,001

“DOWN AND OUT” Issue 15629, 21 October 1914

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