As Frontier Services celebrates 100 years at the heart of remote Australia this year, take a look at this editorial published in our quarterly publication Frontier News in April 1962, the Jubilee Year.
“We have entered the Jubilee Year of the frontier services founded by Flynn.
Fifty years have seen a change or two but the comradeship between the AIM (Australian Inland Mission) and the bush people, born of the years, has never been stronger.
And John Flynn, who brought to the inland the first camel padres, the first nursing sisters, the first flying doctors, and the first pedal radio engineers will never be forgotten. What tragedy, however, if we lean too heavily on the honour board of the past.
The open door of today is there because of the achievements of others, but open doors have a strange habit of closing for those who are slow to enter in. Heritages are valuable only in so far as moth and rust do not corrupt them.
That is why in the Jubilee year of the mission we are not doing to beat the drum any more than is historically proper and right; but if we set no our course for the next generation as others did in theirs 50 years ago, we will fumble and falter.
Our best form of commemoration, and indeed our greatest tribute to Flynn, surely is to move into the future with daring and dedication. The day was never harder in some respects for the whole of North Australia is in a great melting pot, and generally speaking, not many Australians care whether it boils over or not.
Ours is a small bleating voice; but at least it doesn’t speak wildly. The film ‘Australia’s Land of Tomorrow’ now shown in all States on television and through scores of other channels, highlights our faith and hope in the bushlands of the north. And we certainly have no misgivings about the part which all people of goodwill and good sense should be playing to make our north move forwards into its true heritage.”
Frontier Services, the successor in the Uniting Church to the AIM, is planning a number of activities and projects to celebrate the Centenary year. Go to our Centenary page to find out more or get involved.
The next edition of Frontier News will be released in May. Click here to join our mailing list and receive Frontier News.