A recent outing from the Salvos Stores support office saw us take a visit to discover the history of The Salvation Army in Australia and to find out more about how we at Salvos Stores assist the greater community.
Our outing began on the top floor of our beautiful Bourke Street residence in The Salvation Army heritage centre. Our tour guide, Lindsay Cox, began with some videos on the history of The Salvation Army before bringing us downstairs to the museum.
Here we were took a tour through the history of The Salvation Army from the days of William Booth right through to present day. The Salvation Army has a rich heritage, which Lindsay delivers in a charming and witty fashion, and the museum showcases in some fabulous displays.
Once we had our photograph taken in the museum, Lindsay took us to the Limelight Studio, which was Australia’s first film studio. Situated in the original location at Bourke Street, Limelight was the first dedicated film studio and was created by The Salvation Army. Preserved in immaculate condition, we were privy to see some original stills from Salvation Army productions as well as immaculately preserved equipment from the 1800’s.
By now we were all a little parched and so our fantastic Territorial Mission Development Co-Ordinator, Lynda Van Gaalen Prentice, arranged for us to visit the Hamodava Café. Opened since July 2011 and part of Project 614, the Hamodava Café pays homage to the original Hamodava Coffee and Tea house open at the same site in 1897. The café offers free breakfast and lunch to those disadvantaged in our society, many of the customers here are homeless. Unlike other offerings the customers here are waited on by friendly staff and volunteers. It offers a place to come and relax, have a chat and catch up with what is going on in the world within a warm, friendly and accepting environment. Sitting there in the Hamodova Café enjoying my coffee amongst the hustle & bustle of the lunch crowd, I felt a new lease of life to return to the office and work harder than normal to ensure we can assist projects such as this further.
I cannot speak highly enough of my day at Bourke Street and would jump at the chance to visit again soon. The heritage centre is open to the public by appointment (03) 9653 3270. Similarly if you do have any Salvation Army historical memorabilia the staff at the heritage centre are always interested.