GFS Australia Part 2

So it was that a party of GFS Associates and members from England arrived at Adelaide in 1879 to be met by Lady Jervois, wife of the Governor of South Australia. Their voyage, by sailing ship, lasted eight months.
It is notable that the society’s beginnings in this country took place, as in England, in venerable surroundings. The first GFS. meeting here was held in Government House, Adelaide, convened by Miss Lucy Jervois, the Governor’s daughter, on September 14, 1879.
 
The Vice-Regal family provided the main office-bearers. Lady Jervois was elected first president and her daughters Lucy and Carrie became secretary and treasurer. The Society flourished.
The Society’s early beginnings in Australia were largely uncoordinated and very much a local affair. Not really surprising, having regard to the entirely different environment from the British model, especially lack of a central body to align the GFS. in its infancy.
 
East State G.F.S. worked under a separate treaty with the parent body in England. The Society operated through 15 dioceses, each loosely linked with the State headquarters but working under their own constitutions.
Indeed, Mrs Dorothy Wright, widow of the Archbishop of Sydney attested to the difficulties, in her introduction to the Australian section of the Diamond Jubilee Chronicle for Overseas:

“The advance has been difficult amongst so many and varied conditions and there are even at times difficulties practically unknown in the Mother Country.

“Especially is this the case in the country or bush dioceses where leaders are few, distances are great and the means of transit not easy.

“The places of meeting, even, are not always forthcoming but yet the country branches bravely struggle on and do a splendid work.”

In 1880 one year after the South Australian Society’s inception, the New South Wales GFS began, followed by Victoria (1881), Queensland (1882), Western Australia (1884) and Tasmania (1901).

@GFSAustralia


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