A race around the 40 year history of The Wayside Chapel
The Wayside Chapel opens as a social experiment. Ted Noffs and the Uniting Church are instrumental in this beginning. The Coffee Shop attracts the "young avant garde radicals of the day" and the theatre opens for music, drama, film and debate on the world's problems (Patrick White is a speaker). Hollywood star, Jane Powell marries her PR agent, and the romantically named Romeo and Venus also tie the knot. Donald Shanks (opera singer) and Charlie Perkins (aboriginal activist) are star volunteers. In 1964 the Wayside started the first office of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs.
Life Education is launched, as is NAPCAM. Youngest Gibb brother, Andy, is married in The Chapel, Maggie Tabberer and Bill Crews are volunteers. Neville Marriner conducts Bach in the theatre and the Juanita Nielsen memorial service is held here.
The Op Shop opens and Naming Ceremonies are introduced.
Namings become popular and are held in parks across Greater Sydney as well as in Newcastle, Melbourne and even the Gold Coast. Over 50 children are named at Merrylands in November 1980 and 30 at Windsor August 85. Elvis Presley (OK, not THE Elvis Presley), Kerri Anne Kennerly, author David Ireland are all married by The Wayside Chapel. Volunteers and friends included Dick Smith, John Singleton, Suzy Yates, Hazel and Susie Hawke. In March 1987, the Reverend Ted Noffs had a major stroke and, sadly, was never to return to work (he died in the early 1990s and his family set up the Ted Noffs Foundation a few years later in his memory). Others continued his work and vision at the Wayside.
In 1999, The Wayside Chapel changes history by an act of civil disobedience, leading to a change in legislation and creating the first legalised injecting rooms (called the "Tolerance Room"). Many lives are saved as a result. This decade also sees the launch of Hands-on-Health Clinic, The Bath House and Youth Space. Ernie Dingo and family are Christmas volunteers. Jonathon Coleman marries and in 1993 the Hard Rock Café sponsors the first Fun Run for our benefit.
The Wayside Chapel marries and names second and third generations. The Governor of NSW, Prof Marie Bashir AC becomes our patron. David Wenham, Leah Purcell, Aubrey Murphy, URSA, Tim Brunero, Mark Trevorrow, Eddie Perfect, Claudia Karvan and Teddy Tahu Rhodes become our ambassadors. Graham Long joins us as Pastor and we launch Wayside Weddings, the Annual Classical Music Fundraising Concert, Art Show and Auction and we continue with our ever popular Fashion Show and Celebrity Auction. In 2007 we relaunch Wayside Youth in April and our building fund in May. In November the street rocks to the sounds of “Busk for the Wayside” and we launch our Day to Day Living Program for people with long term mental health issues. In 2008 we embrace Love over Hate with our new tattoo inspired logo and redesigned website and launch our Friends of the Wayside regular giving campaign. In 2009 we welcome our new Indigenous worker.