documents, Forgotten Australians, memories


by Adele on 6 December, 2010

Can anyone help the National Museum with our query? Arthur Stace is well-known for writing the word Eternity on the footpaths of Sydney from 1930 to 1967. Arthur was a Forgotten Australian, having been declared a ward of the state at the age of twelve.

Does any one know if he was placed in a Children’s Home? If so, do you know which one? If you can help, please feel free to post a response to this site.

2 thoughts on “Eternity”

  1. I have been in awe of Arthur Stace’s life for many years. Each time I visit Sydney I go “on pilgrimage” to the plaque near Sydney Town Hall that commemorates the “Eternity” script for which he is remembered.

    All the online sources for Stace’s life seem to use the same reference to his childhood which states:

    Arthur was born in 1884, in Balmain, just west of central Sydney. His mother and father, his two brothers and two sisters were alcoholics; his sisters, brothel operators, living in constant friction with the law. He grew up in poverty, looking after himself and stealing as needed. At twelve he was made a ward of the state, but received no great education. At fourteen he found his first job, in a coalmine, and at fifteen he was in jail for the first of many visits. Already he was well on the way to alcoholism himself.

    The fact that Arthur Stace was a Ward of the State, yet there is no reference to how the State “cared ‘ for this young man is a damning observation.

    For some inspiring images and further references to this great Aussie icon go to Google Images and type ‘Arthur Stace” in the search field.

  2. Thanks so much Tony.

    I have since learned that the Australian National University has an archive file on Stace. I will consult this to see if there is a reference to any institution that he may have been sent to. I’ll let you know if I find any information on this.

    I appreciate your response.

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