A Town Called Eternity.

History Throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s, in Melbourne, Australia, the word Eternity appeared across the city on buildings in chalk copperplate handwriting. For years the identity of the graffiti artist was a mystery despite its iconic part of city life, until 1956 when a newspaper revealed it to be Arthur Stace, an illiterate former soldier, petty criminal and alcoholic who became a devout Christian in the late 1940s.

 His story is commemorated by this website, though The Sydney Morning Herald offered a potted biography of Stace in 2009:
"Back in Sydney, Stace's physical and psychological problems were exacerbated by alcohol and he often found himself in front of the magistrate. In 1930, when he was in danger of being sent to prison, he made the decision to give up drinking. Against all the odds, he would remain sober for the rest of his life, supported by a new-found faith in God.

"It was several months after his initial conversion that Stace heard the evangelist the Reverend John Ridley preaching in Darlinghurst. Significantly, Ridley was not only a man of God but a decorated WWI veteran. He had been awarded the Military Cross for valour during the Battle of Bullecourt in 1917. When Ridley declared: ''I wish I could shout 'Eternity' through the streets of Sydney,'' the word resonated with Stace who, like Ridley, had faced his own mortality daily France. It was the genesis for his extraordinary 35-year mission in which he rose at dawn to walk the streets, anonymously chalking ''Eternity'' as he went."
"Eternity" also inspired an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

No comments:

Post a Comment