[Home]ArthurStace

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In offline communities there can often be found idiosyncratic individuals that do something which is so wacky and offbeat, even counter culture. Often these people are either ignored or persecuted. Sometimes though they exist below the radar of public awareness yet over time effect a SeaChange? on the community.

An example from my (current) home city is the story of ArthurStace. Known to some as a drunk, reprobate, madman, beggar, pathetic ... but mostly not known by anyone.

This is how his life started:

Authur Stace was born in a Balmain slum in 1884. His father and mother were both drunkards. Two sisters and two brothers also were drunks and they lived much of their time in jail. The sisters ran brothels and one of them was ordered out of New South Wales three times. Stace used to sleep on bags under the house and when his parents were drunk he had to look after himself. He used to steal milk from the doorsteps, pick scraps of food out of garbage and shoplift cakes and sweets. [1]

Flash forward to New Years Eve 1999, and recall the word "Eternity" emblazoned on Sydney Harbour Bridge, and although that copperplate one word sermon is instantly recognisable by the general population only a few know the [back story].


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