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BSL across decades

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 7 months, 1 week ago


Home page 1930  1940  1950  1960  1970  1980  1990  2000 





"Through the decades" offers a chronological history of the Brotherhood across the decades covering the following categories.  Click on the decades above or on the links in the navigation panel on the right.


  • Children & families
  • Community developments (and partnerships)
  • Employment and training 
  • Fundraising & resources
  • Material & financial support 
  • Neighbourhood change
  • Older People
  • Organisational aspects 
  • People with disabilities
  • Refugees and Settlement 
  • Research and Policy 
  • Brotherhood enterprises
  • Young People 
  • Presentations and Publications 




In the beginning


The Brotherhood of St. Laurence inaugurated at St Stephen’s, Adamstown, NSW (8 December 1930) with Gerard Kennedy Tucker (Priest & Superior), John Walter Russell (Priest) and Guy Colman Cox (Deacon). 

Gerard Tucker had been one of a group of five students at St. John's Theological College in Melbourne who formed "The Association of the Divine Call", a religious community wanting to work amongst the poor in the inner city. Archbishop Henry Lowther Clarke did not accept their offer. Another of the group was Eric Thornton, who went on to found St John's Homes for Boys & Girls in Melbourne. Tucker himself wrote: "I had to wait for twenty years before the dreams of those college days became a reality". (Tucker, GK 1954, Thanks Be, p.31). (See also Handfield, J1980, Friends & Brothers, pp.21-23; and Chambers, D 1982, Melbourne Diocesan welfare and community consultant's reportp.4 Objects, Rules and Policy, 1933).


Father Tucker invited in 1933 by Father Maynard of St Peter's, Eastern Hill, Melbourne (at the suggestion of Melbourne's Archbishop Head) to take charge of St Mary's Mission, Fitzroy (Tucker, GK 1954, Thanks be, p.69.


Fr Tucker appointed as missioner to St Mary’s Mission within the parish of St Peter’s, Eastern Hill in Melbourne - both he and Guy Cox licensed as curates in that same parish  (17 June 1933).


The Brotherhood came to St Mary’s Mission House, Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy  on Sunday 18 June 1933.

"On August 8th of 1933, seventy-five unemployed men who had been living together in a terrace of cottages in Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy, were evicted by the police, and so the work of the Brotherhood began"  (Nunn, HW 1947, A short history of the Church of England in Victoria 1847-1947, Ch. 8).


Establishment of the "Single Men's Unemployed Housing Scheme," with the House of St Francis at 31 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.  Rent was covered through three groups of "Friends" from Anglican parishes  -  St Mary's Mission, St Peter's Eastern Hill and St George's Malvern (BSL Quarterly Notes, October 1933, no.8).



Father Tucker (front row, 2nd from right) at the Patronal Festival at St Cuthbert's East Brunswick 1936.


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