Be Inspired by Mr Eternity!

From St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney:

Written in Chalk – the echo of Arthur Stace!

On the evenings of Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November, on our doorsteps, St Andrew’s Square is hosting outdoor screenings of a fascinating documentary on the inspirational impact of the Eternity Story on Sydney’s history and culture! The documentary starts at around sunset, 7:30pm, and runs for about 70 minutes.

It occurs at the 90th anniversary of Arthur Stace first writing ‘Eternity’ on Sydney’s streets (14 November 1932)!

All welcome for a unique experience. View the trailer here.”

Whatever line the film takes on the legacy of Arthur Stace, you can learn about the man and his story –

Making your life count for eternity.

The Eternity waterfall after 40 years – 12 July 2017.

Arthur Stace in his own words.

Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace, launched in Sydney

The long-awaited biography of Arthur Stace, ‘Mr. Eternity’, was launched by Bible Society Australia in Sydney yesterday.

Appropriately, the launch was held in Darlinghurst, at the Eternity Playhouse, formerly the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle. It was there, in 1932, that Arthur Stace heard evangelist John Ridley, and felt called to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney – something he did for the next 34 years. (Stace had become a Christian at St. Barnabas’ Broadway two years earlier, saved from a life of despair and alcohol.)

Mr. Eternity: The story of Arthur Stace is the fulfilment of a long-term project by Elizabeth Meyers, daughter of the Rev. Lisle Thompson, Minister of Burton Street Tabernacle 1951 – 1964. She was joined by Roy Williams (author of ‘In God They Trust’) who continued her research to help complete the book. The pair uncovered previously unpublished details of Arthur’s life and background.

Roy Williams introduces the book. Photo by Trevor Dallen.

To coincide with the publication, Lisle Thompson’s 1956 tract, ‘The Crooked Made Straight’, has been updated and reissued.

Photo: At the launch, Elizabeth Meyers, with Fairfax photographer Trevor Dallen, who took the iconic photos of Arthur Stace in 1963.

The book, published by Acorn Press, is available from Bible Society.

Companion material has also been published here.

Unfamiliar with the story of Arthur Stace? You can read our earlier potted version here and related posts.

Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace

The forthcoming book, Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace, by Roy Williams and Elizabeth Meyers, is now available for pre-order from The Bible Society.

It’s expected to be published at the end of October.

Colin Buchanan sings about Mr Eternity

“Award-winning musician Colin Buchanan will perform a special tribute tomorrow to the man who emblazoned Sydney and Melbourne with ‘Eternity’.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Arthur Stace, Buchanan wrote Eternity (Arthur Stace).

During a 10:30am commemorative service tomorrow for Stace at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, Buchanan will perform the song – which you can listen to below. …”

– Listen at Eternity newspaper.

‘Mr Eternity’ remembered at Hammondville

“This month will mark 50 years since the death of Arthur Stace at Hammondville. Internationally recognised as ‘Mr Eternity’, Stace spent 30 years anonymously writing the word ‘Eternity’ across the streets of Sydney. …

After spending more than three decades writing Eternity on footpaths (500,000 times) – with initial inspiration coming in a sermon by Baptist evangelist John Ridley – Arthur Stace spent his final years as an aged care resident at Hammondville before dying of a stroke on July 30, 1967.”

– Story from HammondCare.

We understand that HammondCare’s David Martin will be on Open House on Hope 103.2FM this Sunday evening.


Cathedral to remember ‘Mr Eternity’, Arthur Stace, this Sunday.

The Eternity waterfall after 40 years.

(PhotoArthur as the Emergency depot Manager at the Hammond Hotel Chippendale, 1930s. Courtesy HammondCare, used with permission. © HammondCare.)

Cathedral to remember “Mr. Eternity” Arthur Stace, 50 years on

This Sunday (30th July) marks the 50th anniversary of the homecalling of Arthur Stace, the man who wrote “Eternity” on the streets of Sydney from 1932 until 1966.

He died at Hammondville Nursing Home on the evening of Sunday 30th July 1967.

On Sunday, Arthur Stace will be remembered at a special service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral at 10:30am.

Why did he write “Eternity” right across our city? What happened to change him from a life of alcohol and crime and hopelessness? Was he a mystic or a loner? This Sunday, hear the wonderful news he discovered, and understand what drove this humble Sydney icon.

(He’s also being remembered, this Sunday and next, in the western suburbs. Is your church doing something? Let the webmaster know.)

Photo of Arthur Stace by Les Nixon, via Ramon Williams, used by permission. Taken at Burton Street Tabernacle, 27 December 1952. Right hand photo: the Eternity memorial in Town Hall Arcade.

Related: The Eternity waterfall after 40 years – 12th July 2017.

Remembering Arthur Stace 90 years after he began to chalk Eternity

Ninety years ago today, on 14th November 1932, Arthur Stace (“Mr. Eternity”) heard evangelist John Ridley and felt the call to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney.

(Related posts here.)

“Eternity to be proclaimed above Sydney Harbour” — Friday 5th June

Here’s a media release relating to a planned documentary on Arthur Stace:

“20 years after ETERNITY was shared with the world at the Sydney Millennium Fireworks and in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the one-word sermon will appear above the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday 5 June at 8.30am. (and again at 3:00pm)

Read more

‘Eternity – A tribute to Arthur Stace’

In 2000 and 2001, Sydney artist David Lever painted a series of paintings depicting the life of Arthur Stace.

“Mr. Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace”, by Roy Williams and Elizabeth Meyers, launched in Sydney last month, reproduces a number of the paintings.

We thought you might enjoy seeing more of David Lever’s “Eternity” collection, now published on his website. (One of our favourites is ‘Preparing for the Eternity run 4.30am – 5.30am’.)

Photo: David and Lorna Lever with Roy Williams (centre) at the book launch.

From here to Eternity: Arthur Stace in his own words

In 1964, 79 year-old Arthur Stace was interviewed on Sydney radio about why he wrote “Eternity”.

We’ve transcribed the brief segment. (A few words are unclear.)

Presenter: [One of ] the things that strikes a visitor to Sydney, and indeed many other towns right throughout New South Wales, is the fact that someone has been there before, in writing “Eternity” on the footpaths, on walls, almost anywhere, in very fine handwriting, and in yellow chalk.

For Monitor, Jim Waugh found Mr Arthur Stace, who writes “Eternity” and asked him, “Why?”.  Read more

The Eternity waterfall after 40 years

Forty years ago, the Eternity plaque at the waterfall in Sydney Square was unveilled.

On Tuesday, 12th July 1977, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Column 8 wrote:

“TRUE to his words of last November, Ridley Smith, the Sydney Square architect, has immortalised the late Arthur Stace, ‘Mr Eternity’. You may recall that Column 8 campaigned unashamedly for a suitable memorial to Mr Stace, Sydney’s footpath evangelist for 20 years until 1967. Ridley Smith promised it without strings.

TODAY, the memorial above will be officially unveilled (a small explanatory plaque is yet to come). Yesterday Column 8 had an informal peek. Mr Stace would be proud. There, set in aggregate near the Sydney Square waterfall, in letters almost 21cm (8 in) high, is the famous copperplate message. ‘Eternity’. The one-word sermon gleams in wrought aluminium. There’s no undue prominence. No garish presentation. Merely the simple ‘Eternity’ on the pebbles, as Arthur Stace would have wanted it.”

In 1994, journalist Alan Gill wrote, “The waterfall adjoins a modest cafeteria. [The Architect of St. Andrew’s House and Sydney Square, Ridley] Smith once told me that he hoped visitors would say ‘Meet you at Eternity’ as well as ‘Meet you in Eternity’.” (1)

Ridley Smith (pictured) was named for evangelist John G. Ridley, who was a friend of his father. In November 1932, Arthur Stace had been in the congregation at the Burton Street Tabernacle in Darlinghurst when John Ridley preached on the need to be ready for eternity. It was this sermon which inspired Stace to begin his 34 year campaign of writing that word on the streets of Sydney.

Arthur Stace died on 30 July 1967, fifty years ago this month.

Did the ‘small explanatory plaque’ mentioned by Column 8 ever appear? In 1994, Alan Gill wrote that some complained “the present inscription is ‘out of the way’ and doesn’t explain who Arthur Stace was. Other admirers of Arthur disagree. They believe the ‘odd’ location of the present tribute and the absence of an explanation are part of that blend of mystery and surprise that ‘Mr Eternity’ himself would appreciate.”

(Top photo showing the waterfall on the day of the unveilling, and the photo of Architect Ridley Smith in 2009, courtesy Ramon Williams, Worldwide Photos. Ramon adds, “Ridley Smith sprinkled water around the ‘Eternity’ replica so as to help photograph it.” While the pavement around the memorial has been replaced, “Eternity” on the pebbles remains, as seen in this 2014 photo.)

(1) Alan Gill, “Sydney’s Phantom Preacher”, The Catholic Weekly, 31 August 1994.

From Here to Eternity: Giving thanks for Arthur Stace, 49 years on

arthur-stace-headstone-photo-by-ramon-williamsToday, 30th July 2016, is the 49th anniversary of the home-calling of Arthur Stace.

Remembered today as ‘Mr. Eternity’, Arthur Stace committed his life to asking the men and women of Sydney to consider where they will spend eternity. His ‘one word sermon’ was written in yellow crayon on the streets of Sydney for three decades – until ill health prevented him.

Stace was also a keen evangelist, and was seen on Saturday nights preaching from the Open Air Campaigners van parked on the corner of George and Bathurst Streets in Sydney.

He was no eccentric, and there is no secret about his motives. He wanted men and women to place their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The 50th anniversary of Stace’s death, 30th July 2017, falls on a Sunday.

This is an excellent opportunity for churches to remind the people of Sydney of his call to consider where they will spend eternity. (It is most appropriate for older Sydney-siders who remember actually seeing his work!)

The next year gives Sydney churches time to consider how they might use this anniversary for the eternal good of the people of our great city.

Top photo courtesy Ramon Williams. Read more about Mr. Eternity here.

Making your life count for eternity

Sydney Harbour Bridge 2nd January 2000

He was not what many would see as a great leader. He was not a politician or a king. He was a man who lived here in our own city – an unassuming man. A shy man. A man who came from the humblest of backgrounds.

Yet he was someone who, in the strength of Jesus Christ, was determined to make his life count for Eternity.

He would start out early, usually before dawn, and he wandered through all the streets of Sydney. Every morning he was somewhere else: Wynyard, Glebe, Paddington, Randwick, Central Station. If you are old enough, and you lived in Sydney, you probably saw his handiwork.

He was a frail little man, bent, grey-haired, only 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing just 7 stone.

He always wore a grey felt hat, tie and a double-breasted navy blue suit.

Sometimes in the dawn light he would be seen around Wynyard Station. He would nod to the drunks still left on the pavement, trying to keep warm under newspapers. If he detected any movement, there would be a pat on the head or a warm greeting. He had the air of a man who understood.

As he walked, every so often he would stop, pull out a crayon, bend down and write on the pavement in large, elegant copperplate – the word Eternity. He would move on a hundred yards then write it again, Eternity, nothing more, just one simple word.

For at least 34 years, he chalked this ‘one-word sermon’ – and it is estimated he wrote it more than half a million times.

For years, these Eternity signs mystified Sydney. They were an enigma.

Sydney columnists wrote about it, speculating about the author and, over the years, several people walked into newspaper offices and announced that they were the author. However the real man kept quiet.

Mystery Solved

The mystery all came clear in 1956. The man who uncovered it was the Rev. Lisle M. Thompson of the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle in Darlinghurst.

Arthur Stace was a member of that church. He was one of their prayer leaders and also served as the church cleaner.

The church ran an open-air meeting on Saturday nights, and Arthur would give his testimony.

On one occasion, Lisle Thompson went to where Arthur was standing and saw the word saw the famous “Eternity” written on the pavement. He knew it hadn’t been there shortly before, so Thompson asked: “Are you Mr Eternity?” and Stace replied, “Guilty Your Honour”.

With his permission, Lisle Thompson wrote a tract (called “The Crooked Made Straight”) telling Arthur Stace’s extraordinary story.

Thompson also sent a copy of the tract to Australian Consolidated Press, and Journalist Tom Farrell conducted the first interview. He published it in The Sunday Telegraph on Sunday 24th June 1956, under the heading, “The Man that Sydney Wondered About … Every Dawn he Chalks a Pavement Challenge.”.

This is Arthur Stace’s story:

From Gutter…

Arthur Stace was born Redfern in 1885 and grew up in a Balmain slum. His father and mother were both alcoholics. Two sisters and two brothers also were alcoholics and they lived much of their time in gaol. The sisters ran a house of ill-repute.

Stace used to sleep on bags under the house and when his parents were drunk he had to look after himself. He used to steal milk from the doorsteps, pick scraps of food out of garbage and shoplift cakes and lollies.

He had little formal education. At the age of twelve he became a state ward. When he was fourteen he had his first job – in one of the coal mines on the south coast – and his first pay cheque he spent in a hotel. Already he had learned to drink at home, he became a wandering drunk, living in a fog of alcohol. He went to gaol for the first time when he was fifteen.

He was in his twenties when he moved to the seedy inner suburb of Surry Hills.

There his job was to carry booze from the pubs to the brothels, and particularly that run by his sisters. Then there were other jobs such as cockatoo, or lookout man, at a two-up school. He became mixed up with various housebreaking gangs and, because of his size, he was very useful.

During the First World War he enlisted in the 19th Battalion, went to France and returned home, having been gassed and now half blind in one eye.

Back in Surry Hills, Stace took up his old habits, drink in particular. He slipped from beer, to whisky, to gin, to rum, to cheap wine until finally living on hand-outs. All he could afford was methylated spirits at 6d a bottle. He was in danger of becoming a permanent inmate of Callan Park Mental Asylum.

He told journalist Tom Farrell that, in 1930, he was in Central Court yet again. The magistrate said to him: “Don’t you know that I have the power to put you in Long Bay gaol or the power to set you free”.

“Yes Sir”, he replied, but it was the word ‘power’ that he remembered. What he needed was the power to give up drink.

He signed the Pledge – but he had done that many times before. He went to Regent Street Police Station and pleaded with the Sergeant to lock him up.

“Sergeant, put me away. I am no good and I haven’t been sober for eight years. Give me a chance and put me away”.

… to Gospel

During the Depression, a metho drinker, dirty, badly dressed, had to be the least likely of any to get a job.

St. Barnabas Wednesday Evening Mens MeetingOutside the Court House there was a group walking up Broadway. The word had gone around that a cup of tea and something to eat was available at the Church Hall up at St. Barnabas’.

The date was Wednesday August 6th 1930 – and it was a meeting for men, conducted by Archdeacon R.B.S. Hammond, the Rector of St Barnabas’ Church.

There were about 300 men present, mostly down and outs, but they had to endure an hour and half of talking before they received their tea and rock cakes. Afterwards, Stace put it this way: “I went in to get a cup of tea and a rock cake but I met the Rock of Ages.”

Archdeacon RBS HammondUp front there were six people on a separate seat, all looking very clean, a remarkable contrast to the 300 grubby-looking males in the audience. Stace said to the man sitting next to him, a well-known criminal: “Who are they?”

“I’d reckon they’d be Christians”, he replied.

Stace said: “Well look at them and look at us. I’m having a go at what they have got.”

Arthur Stace knew that his life was in a mess. He knew that he needed to change. And he knew that he needed help. After the service was over, he crossed the road to Victoria Park where he sat under a tree and committed his life to Jesus Christ. He recalled praying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”. (Hammond had possibly been preaching from the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican from Luke 18.)

Over the next few weeks, Stace found that he was able to give up drink and he said:

“That night, I realised that Christ was stronger than drink.”

“As I got back my self respect, people were more decent to me.”

So he found a job for the dole, working at the sandhills at Maroubra one week on, one week off at £3 a week. He was 45 years old.

On November 14th 1932, in the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle at Darlinghurst he heard the evangelist, the Reverend John G. Ridley. Ridley was a Military Cross winner from World War I and he spoke about the Lord Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that can only be found in Him.

Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle in 2010.

Ridley told his audience that men and women everywhere must think about Eternity and where they will spend it.

He shouted:

“I wish I could shout ETERNITY through the streets of Sydney.”

Stace, recalling the day, said:

“He repeated himself and kept shouting ‘ETERNITY, ETERNITY’ and his words were ringing through my brain as I left the church. Suddenly I began crying and I felt a powerful call from the Lord to write ‘ETERNITY’.”

I had a piece of chalk in my pocket and I bent down there and wrote it.

The funny thing is that before I wrote I could hardly have spelled my own name. I had no schooling and I couldn’t have spelt ‘ETERNITY’ for a hundred quid. But it came out smoothly in beautiful copperplate script. I couldn’t understand it and I still can’t.”

Stace claimed that normally his handwriting was appalling and his friends found it illegible.

He demonstrated this to a Daily Telegraph reporter. He wrote ETERNITY across the pavemant gracefully with rich curves and flourishes, but when he wrote his own name “Arthur” it was almost unreadable.

“I’ve tried and tried but ‘ETERNITY’ is the only word that comes out in copperplate”, he said.

After eight or nine years he did try something else – “OBEY GOD”, and five years later, “GOD OR SIN” and “GOD 1st”, and used each at different times, but mainly he stuck with ETERNITY.

He had some problems. There was a fellow who followed him round and every time he wrote ETERNITY this other character changed it to MATERNITY. So he altered his style to give ETERNITY a large, eloquent capital E and that solved the problem.

The City Council had a rule against defacing the pavement and the police “very nearly arrested” him many times. “But I had permission from a higher source”, he said.

He lived with his wife, Pearl (whom he had married in 1942, when he was 57), in Bulwara Road, Pyrmont, and this was his routine –

He rose at 4:00am, prayed for an hour, had breakfast, then he set out for the suburb he had in mind and arrived there before dawn.

He took his message every 100 yards or so where it could be seen best – then he was back home around 10:00am.

First he wrote in chalk, but switched to yellow marking crayon because it stayed on better in the wet.

Whenever he travelled, he did the same – and he wrote Eternity during trips to Newcastle and Wollongong and even Melbourne – and on the footpaths of country towns, going as far as Cessnock and Wellington.

Helping people know Jesus

But writing Eternity wasn’t all Arthur Stace did to help men and women come to know Jesus.

From the tract “The Crooked Made Straight”, 3rd edition:

“Thirty-five years of untiring service for his Master began almost as soon as the change came – a house was rented and a five-bed hostel in Ultimo was the first attempt to reclaim men for Christ. This led to being appointed to the R. B. S. Hammond Buckland Street Hostel (now pulled down) where Arthur shaved and issued canteen supplies to 300 down-and-out men in order to tell them his story.

Realising that he must go out into the open air to reach men, Arthur Stace led an open air meeting on the corner of George and Bathurst Streets, Sydney, for 24 years.

Every Wednesday evening until June, 1965, he visited the Methodist Hostel in Francis Street and preached Salvation through God’s power to the derelicts who seek a bed for the night.

Years of visitation to the inmates of Callan Park, and also to the Lazaret among lepers, has brought cheer and hope to desperate cases.

Always glad to tell what God has done for him, Arthur Stace has preached in many churches of most denominations and much fruit has come from this Gospel sowing.

Arthur Stace teamed with Cairo Bradley’s tent missions and thousands heard the story of God’s power to save. During World War II many military camps heard the story of his salvation.”

When the Rector of St. Barnabas’ Broadway, Canon RBS Hammond, died in 1946, Stace was one of five people who were invited to speak at his funeral. That was still nine years before it became public that he was “Mr. Eternity”.

So, what should we think of Arthur Stace?

Was he an eccentric?

Maybe he was in some ways – but consider this. In the eyes of this world, he counted for little. His background, his education, his social status – all weighed against him.

But then he met Jesus. And he wanted everyone to pause and think about how they would spend eternity.

Would it be with Jesus? Or would it be without him?

Half a million times, Arthur Stace bent down and wrote that word “Eternity” on the footpaths of our city. And it made a difference. It made a difference to generations of Sydney-siders. I guess that it is only in heaven that we will know how much difference.

Arthur Stace moved to Hammondville Nursing Home, near Liverpool, in early 1965, when he realised he could no longer look after himself. (Pearl had died in July 1961.) The Daily Telegraph newspaper ran a story on him on Saturday June 12 1965 (page 14) headed “An End to Eternity”. He was quoted as saying, “I don’t expect to leave here under my own steam. … But that doesn’t worry me – I want to join the Lord.”

Nevertheless, Arthur continued to chalk Eternity in the Liverpool area and on occasional trips into the city.

He died in the nursing home from a stroke, on the evening of Sunday July 30, 1967. He was 82.

He left his body to Sydney University so that the donation given to the family could go to the Baptist Church and its missionary society. He was finally buried alongside Pearl at Botany Cemetery.


Photo by Ramon Williams, Worldwide Photos.

A fitting monument

There were suggestions that the city should erect a plaque to his memory. One idea was that there should be a statue in Railway Square depicting Stace kneeling, chalk in hand.

In 1968 the Sydney City Council decided to perpetuate Stace’s one-word sermon by putting down permanent plaques in “numerous” locations throughout the city. But a team of City Commissioners stopped the idea. They thought it was too trivial.

For weeks there was angry debate in the Letters to the Editor columns. One reader believed Mary Anne Smith, who gave us the Granny Smith apple, was far more worthy of recognition.

But finally Arthur Stace did get his plaque.

It happened ten years after his death and it was due to Ridley Smith, architect of Sydney Square next to St. Andrew’s Cathedral. He set the message ETERNITY in cast aluminium, set in pebbles, near the Sydney Square waterfall.

Eternity at the bottom of the waterfall, in 2012 – as seen from the top of the steps from near the Cathedral leading down to Town Hall Station.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Column 8 said:

TRUE to his words of last November, Ridley Smith, the Sydney Square architect, has immortalised the late Arthur Stace, “Mr Eternity”. You may recall that Column 8 campaigned unashamedly for a suitable memorial to Mr Stace, Sydney’s footpath evangelist for 20 vears until 1967. Ridley Smith promised it without strings.

TODAY, the memorial above will be officially unveilled (a small explanatory plaque is yet to come). Yesterday Column 8 had an informal peek. Mr Stace would be proud. There, set in aggregate near the Sydney Square waterfall, in letters almost 21cm (8 in) high, is the famous copperplate message. “Eternity”. The one-word sermon gleams in wrought aluminium. There’s no undue prominence. No garish presentation. Merely the simple “Eternity” on the pebbles, as Arthur Stace would have wanted it.

 – Column 8, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 12th July 1977.

That monument is still there.

Eternity in aluminium below Sydney Square

But a most fitting memorial to Arthur Stace came on 1st January 2000 – as, via television – two billion people saw that word “Eternity” in the copperplate handwriting of Arthur Stace, on the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The point of all this is quite simple:

Do you think that you can do nothing of value for the Kingdom of God? You’re wrong.

If you think that the Lord cannot use you for his kingdom and his glory, then think again.

You don’t need money, or education, or a place in society to come to Jesus. And you don’t need those things to make your life count for Eternity.

We can do a lot worse than to be spurred to action by the example of that humble Christian man, Arthur Stace.



In mid 2017, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the home-calling of Arthur Stace, the management of the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park installed a statue of Arthur, complete with explanatory plaques.


They also updated the path leading from the statue to Arthur’s grave. A plaque, bearing the words of Isaiah 57:15, has been set into the path at the foot of the grave.


The new plaque at the foot of Arthur Stace’s grave.


If you wish to visit the statue, it is at -33.975357, 151.230069. (Link in Google Maps.)

and Mr. Stace’s grave is about 52 metres north, within a few metres of. – 33.974946, 151.230166. (Just take the re-laid path up the hill and follow where it turns right. The grave is on your left, seventh from the corner.)





Prime sources were various transcripts of a book by Keith Dunstan, and also the tract “The Crooked Made Straight” by the Rev. Lisle M. Thompson – both of which are apparently out of print. Text from the latter courtesy Ramon Williams.

Tom Farrell’s story in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph, page 5, June 24 1956, has most of the details above, derived from“The Crooked Made Straight”.

“Sydney’s Phantom Preacher”, by Alan Gill (formerly The Sydney Morning Herald’s religion reporter) in The Catholic Weekly, 31 August 1994.

Photographs of Archdeacon RBS Hammond and the St. Barnabas’ Wednesday evening men’s meeting were published in “He That Doeth – The Life Story of Archdeacon R. B. S. Hammond, O.B.E.” by Bernard G. Judd, published in 1951 – now out of print. This source records that Arthur Stace was invited to speak at the funeral of Archdeacon Hammond in 1946.

A radio interview with Arthur Stace, conducted in 1964 when he was 79, is available here as a 2MB mp3 file (direct link). Transcript (PDF file).

This page assembled by Colin Mackellar from various sources to coincide with the millennium celebrations in 2000. (Other details have been added more recently as they came to light.)

Where will you spend eternity?

Remembering Arthur Stace 56 years on

Like a broken record, we’ve mentioned Arthur Stace on our website once or twice over the years.

In some ways, you might call him Sydney’s best known evangelist, chalking the word Eternity on footpaths across the city for more than 35 years. He inspired thousands to wonder at the meaning of that word – hopefully to contemplate where they would spend eternity – and to be attentive to the gospel.

In addition, Arthur was an open-air evangelist, though few were aware he was also ‘Mr Eternity’.

Arthur was called home to be with the Lord Jesus on this day (30th July) in 1967.

He was eventually buried at Botany Cemetery, now part of Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

As we remember this humble man, let’s also be encouraged by his example as he laboured to bring the good news of salvation to his fellow Sydney-siders.

See also these two tributes in song – by Nathan Tasker (video below) and Colin Buchanan.

The message lives on

Arthur Stace, early 1930s. Detail from a photo, courtesy of HammondCare.“Mr Eternity could never have imagined he would have crowds of Sydney-siders remembering him 50 years after his death, but that’s what happened at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Sunday.

But then again, he wouldn’t have imagined he would prompt city authorities to emblazon Eternity in fireworks on the Harbour Bridge at the turn of the century, either.

Photo by Colin Mackellar, January 2000.

Arthur Stace was an alcoholic converted during the Great Depression, who then went on to devote his life to reminding people of Eternity by writing the word in perfect copperplate on Sydney Streets.…”

– Russell Powell reports on the tribute to Arthur Stace, “Mr. Eternity”, last Sunday at the Cathedral. (Photo of Arthur Stace courtesy HammondCare.)

See also this report from Eternity News, and these related posts.

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