During my research for our February 2017 edition feature article on the origins of the Uniting Church, it was soon apparent there was an alarming dearth of photographs and video footage of the 1977 celebrations which took place in Queensland.
There were a few grainy black-and-white stills of the Milton tennis courts celebration we located in the State Library’s microfilm department but nothing that really captured the visual sense of excitement and spectacle that many attendees remembered with such passion (but had no photographs of).
While admittedly today’s culture is awash with high-resolution phone cameras and fancy DSLRs to capture every single meal, workout routine and cute pet, 35 mm film cameras did still exist in the seventies and I’m told by reliable sources that they were in regular use by people at important events.
So where are the photos? Perhaps you’ve got a garage full of dusty photo albums or there’s the odd framed snap of you back in 1977 celebrating at your local church. Those 1977 photos are valuable and provide the vital link between where we’ve been and where we are today. Please don’t let the acidic pages of a photo album eat them away or let harsh sunlight fade them. Digitise them before they disappear and take a look at this month’s listicle for more tips on preservation. Email your favourite photos of the 1977 Uniting Church celebrations to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will create an online photo gallery.
The subject of archiving our past takes Dianne Jensen’s focus this month and her feature article outlines what the Assembly is doing to preserve the past and why church history matters for the generations to come.
Elsewhere we examine the inspiring work Noah Kim is doing with the new Next Gen Arise initiative to help build the church’s next generation of cross-cultural young leaders. There’s no escaping that the church must do better when it comes to transitioning younger people into leadership positions but Next Gen Arise is exactly the type of project one would hope for to meet that challenge.
Finally, the newspaper headlines and TV bulletins may have moved on from Cyclone Debbie and associated flooding but many Queenslanders are still cleaning up after the devastation and it will not be a quick process. Our feature talks with people from the impacted regions and those in the church raising money for the Disaster Relief Appeal, and it’s a timely reminder that financial aid is the best way to help the whole community rebuild.