Goldney – Methodist Home Missionary



Methodist minister serves area larger than Tasmania!

The year is 1924. Methodist Minister, the Reverend Victor Henry Goldney (VHG), is called to be the pioneer Methodist Home Missionary in the arid pastoral zone of the northwest of South Australia, between Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. His mission area would eventually be greater than the mainland of Tasmania. The biography of this Methodist pioneer will be launched in Adelaide in May this year, under the title It makes one smile and it makes one weep. Further details and purchase arrangements can be located on the Openbook Howden web page.

This biography shines a light on a now little-known episode of religious life in South Australia. Goldney’s appointment (1924-1927) coincided with the shift from animal dependency in the outback, to motorised transport. It was also a time when the Methodist Church, perhaps surprisingly, was struggling to recognise Aboriginal people as humans of equal worth before God. The biography also illuminates Methodist ministry on the ground from 1920 – 1960 by a convinced evangelical.

Prior to taking up this appointment, VHG had never driven a car, but within a few months he was able to strip down the motor or replace a broken axle, and had learned to master the rudimentary, unforgiving, impossible tracks of the northwest, rain or shine, sandhills or gibber plains. His polyglot congregations were made up of the rich and the famous, fettlers, opal miners, cameleers, station hands and fringe dwelling Aboriginal people. His people came to love him as he did them. But it came at great personal sacrifice. Purchasing this book will open up an unknown world to readers of life and faith in the arid northwest of South Australia. For additional information contact


Prepared and written by Professor David Goldney AM, 174 George Street, Bathurst, NSW, 2795. mobile 0417460935