Commandant Booth delivered a lecture, en- titled " Social Salvation," in the Centennial Hall last evening. The building proved far too small to hold the audience and almost every inch of standing room was availed of.
Sir Hugh Nelson occupied the chair. In the course of a neat speech he expressed his gratification at being able to refer to the good work done by the Army. And, he said, he was not alone in appreciating the Army's work from a social standpoint; Mr. Pinnock, the late Home Secretary (Sir Horace Tozer), the present Home Secretary,
and the Commissioner of Police were all willing to testify to the work the Army was doing to raise people in the social scale. He was glad that the work of the Army was receiving to some extent recognition from the Government in the way of contributions towards some of the establishments. He had never been able to see why there should be any delicacy exhibited by certain people towards the Salvation Army. He had always looked upon all denominations as being vari- ous regiments under the one Leader, and he thought friendly rivalry as to who should do the most work was a good thing. There was no more noble work than that of doing our very best to raise the fallen, and the audience, he was sure, would join with him in hoping that the Army might achieve even greater success than in the past.
The audience vociferously applauded the sentiment, and Sir Hugh Nelson was greeted with an ovation, as indeed he had been on rising to address the meeting.
The Commandant - as he is familiarly termed among Army people - then com- menced his lecture on " Social Salvation." To those who are little acquainted with the great work the Salvation Army is doing in Australia in reclaiming fallen humanity and providing shelter for the outcast, the lec- ture was a revelation. Splendid dissolving limelight views and fair cinematograph pic- tures of the various homes and their in-
mates, and ludicrous and touchingly sad scenes of everyday life, illustrated the de- scription given of the "social salvation" work which is being actively carried on in the great cities of Australia. Commandant Booth interested the audience from start to finish. The various homes and shelters in the different colonies were shown and ex- plained. Not the least interesting of these are the great People's Palace in Sydney, which accommodates 550 persons nightly;
the Riverview (Queensland) Home, on the Upper Brisbane; and Rindowra, on the North Quay. The Commandant spoke of the shelter work that was being carried on in Brisbane under difficulties, and expressed the hope that the day was not far distant when a large "People's Palace" might be erected here. The system under which the various institutions are managed was well described, and was interesting and instruc- tive. The problem of dealing with the out-of-work, the loafer, the criminal, the homeless woman, and the helpless baby have all been apparently solved. Slum work was dilated upon. Harrowing scenes of squalor and misery, that one would scarce have thought possible to exist in fair Australia, were realistically presented and commented upon, and it must have been recognised by all present that the Salvation Army are engaged in a noble work, and that the results obtained are worthy of the highest praise. The lecturer remarked that the Salvation Army homes were homes in the true sense. The secret of their success lay in the fact that they were ruled by love. And if the pictures were faithful productions - and there is no reason for doubt on the point - one could readily believe the statement. Fallen women and criminal men to be cared for and respected as God's creatures, waifs and strays gathered from anywhere and everywhere to be housed and fed, and babies of shame to be nurtured and trained up re- spectably - surely this is a labour of love. The ludicrous element was not wanting. There was a cinematograph picture of the "Melbourne woodyard," where a loafer was made to chop wood for his meal; the River- view boys diving from an old tree into the Brisbane River, and hugely enjoying their morning bath; a " review of cows" at the Bayswater farm, near Sydney; and many others too numerous to mention. All the branches of the "social salvation" work were touched on - the prison mission, rescue and maternity efforts, and the various operations of slum work.
A pleasing feature was a display of dumb- bell exercises and running evolutions by a squad of boys from the Riverview Home, and tambourine drill, and the building of a "character ladder" by a squad of girls from the home on North Quay. The child- ren did exceedingly well. Their happy faces and well-cared-for appearance spoke volumes for the Army's work, and was more im- pressive than all the limelight and cine- matograph pictures combined. A solo by Miss (Cadet) Whiteman also met with the approval of the audience.
At the conclusion of the lecture a vote of thanks to Sir Hugh Nelson was carried hy acclamation, to which that gentleman briefly responded. He suggested that the lecture might well be repeated, and the audi- ence evidently approved of the idea, as they applauded tumultuously and shouted "Hear, hears." Commandant Booth said that he
thought it might be possible to repeat the lecture in about ten weeks' time in the Exhibition Building.