Hospital Sunday at Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia

Hospital Sunday at Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia.
Hospital Sunday at Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia.

This Hospital Sunday parade at Wallsend is actually in Australia.

Northumbrian Alexander Brown founded the town, near Newcastle in New South Wales, when he opened a colliery there in January 1861 for the Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Company, to mine ‘good quality coal’.

The Evening News of Monday, June 18, 1956, reported that it was the first ‘Namesake Greetings Day’ and Councillor Paul Chute, Mayor of Wallsend, was one of 400 British civic dignitaries taking part, sending a telegram from the Town Hall to the people of Wallsend, New South Wales.

The association seems to have continued for some time between Mayor Chute and his Australian counterpart Mayor Edwin C Thomas.

Hospital Sunday, established in 1870, was at the end of October each year when collections for local hospitals were taken in places of worship and in factories, collieries and businesses.

Newcastle Daily Journal published lists of donations on November 4, 1882, for that year, with the largest amount of over £80 collected by Schlesinger, Davis & Co., Iron Shipbuilders at Wallsend, and the Sydney Morning Herald of February 22, 1886, held an article on the first Hospital Sunday proposed by the Liberal Association of New South Wales, to start collecting on Easter Sunday on behalf of hospitals in the region, as popularised “in the old country and sister colonies”.

The Freethought Congregation crowded into the local Gaiety Theatre with a later meeting at the Temperance Hall to appoint facilitators to organise an “annual collection on a Sunday in all places of public meeting”.

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