On 27 March, 1883 the SS Manapouri berthed at Bowen’s Pier, Port Chalmers. On board was a small
contingent of Salvationists despatched to New Zealand to “open fire” here. Five days Jater, the first
official Salvation Army rneeting was held in Dunedin. The assault had begun.
Today, the importance of the work done by the Salvation Army is well-known and widely respected.
Less well-known however, is the dramatic battle the Salvationists of New Zealand fought in last century
in order to establish their movement here.
Its members were set upon by so-called “skeleton armies” formed to’ disrupt their meetings. The Sal-
vation Army was actively opposed by town councillors, and its members were sent to prison by the courts
for holding open-air meetings; creating a furor involving central government. They were labelled
(along with rabbits and gorse) as a disaster of acclirnatisation and abused by some clergymen for
holding meetings that “promoted immorality”.
Fight the Good Fight is more than a straightforward look at 100 years of Salvation Army work in New
Zealand. In it, Cyril Bradwell holds up a mirror to an extraordinary, little-docurnented side of our history —
of an expedition launched to save souls and to help the deprived, the down-and-outs, the dispossessed. The
movement marches on today offering the same helping hand to the needy and the poor.
In good preloved condition