Soldiers Help Society

Published by The Garland Collection on

ABOVE: On Sunday, 12 February 1922, the inauspicious official opening and blessing of The Gap Soldiers’ Settlement Church Hall, or “Anzac Hall”, by Canon Garland on behalf of the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society took place. This image appeared in the Society’s 1922 booklet, an otherwise unnamed publication, designated “Honour Board – erected by the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society in the War Chapel, St. Luke’s Church, Brisbane”, held in the State Library of Queensland Collection.


Soldiers’ C. of E. Help Society Supplies Need

THE Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society, which was founded by Canon Garland [ David John Garland ] in the war years, held its 21st annual meeting at its premises, “Riviera”, North Quay, yesterday afternoon [ 3 August 1936 ].

Mrs. W. Arkell (vice-president) [ Alice Bertha Arkell, neé Cardinal, wife of William Arkell ] was in the chair in the absence of Mrs. J.W.C. Wand (president) [ Amy Agnes Wand, neé Wiggins, wife of the-then Archbishop of Brisbane, John William Charles Wand ].

Canon Garland, who is a director, said in his report that the Society continued to supply a need in the interests of returned men.

Almost every day men came to the Society with some trouble or difficulty.

The executive’s report showed that the rest house at Coolangatta had continued to maintain itself without increasing the overdraft at the bank.

The daily average of men staying at the home was 25, and at special seasons this number was almost doubled.

Since the home was founded in 1917 many thousands of men had benefited by it. The free accommodation, with bedding and cooking utensils, enabled them to live at very small cost to themselves.

The Society was indebted to Mr. A. Harrison (hon. secretary) [ Alfred Harrison ], also to the women’s committee at Coolangatta, under the chairmanship of the Mayoress (Mrs. Winders) [ Annie Mary Winders, neé Anderson, wife of Alderman Samuel William Winders ] for looking after the welfare of the men.

“Riviera”, under the management of Mr. Lockwood, which provided lodgings for returned soldiers and their dependents at reasonable rates, had had a record year, the lodgers’ payments being £1,071, an increase of £62 for the year.

The Gap Soldiers’ Settlement Church Hall had reduced its debt to the society from £40 to £38.
The report also referred to the success of the Anzac Day luncheon, when 1,500 soldiers accepted the Society’s hospitality.

The election of officers resulted.— Patroness, Lady Blair [ Lady Julia Blair, neé Droughton, wife of Sir James William Blair ]; president, Mrs. J.W.C. Wand; vice-presidents, Mesdames W. Arkell and W.E. Wilson, Misses E.P.M. Smith and E.L. Ferrier; hon. general secretary, Mrs. E.W. Easton; executive, Mesdames O.S. Donald, A. Anderson, A. Tunney, E. Bristow, H. Sewell, A. Barltrop and R. Knight.

– from page 15 of “The Courier-Mail” of 4 August 1936.


ABOVE: The 18th annual general meeting of the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society was held at “Riviera”, North Quay. This report of proceedings appears in Brisbane’s “The Telegraph” newspaper of 8 August 1933 (page 10). The economic malaise of The Great Depression threatened the continued existence of the Society’s Coolangatta Rest Home. In 1933 the campaign to save the home was orchestrated by local Church of England priest, the Reverend Eric Dudley Eglinton.