Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Chapter 13—(1894) The Move to New South Wales

In February, 1894, while in Melbourne Ellen White wrote: 4BIO 138.1

I am tired, tired all the time, and must ere long get a restful place in the country. I want not a home where all is bustle in city life. I want this year to write and to exercise prudently out of doors in the open air.—Letter 140, 1894. 4BIO 138.2

I am getting to be very tired of moving. It worries me out, settling and unsettling, gathering manuscripts and scattering them, to be gathered up again.—Letter 102, 1894. 4BIO 138.3

During the two years or so it was expected she would be in Australia, Ellen White had planned to spend some months in Melbourne and also some months in New South Wales, in the vicinity of Sydney. With the next term of the Australasian Bible School scheduled to open on April 4, the time had come when she must close up her work in Melbourne to free for student use the rooms she and her helpers were occupying. Also, the climate of New South Wales, being farther north, gave promise of being more comfortable than that of Melbourne. So in March a house was rented for her in Granville, a Sydney suburb. 4BIO 138.4

Ellen White made the overnight train trip, leaving on Monday, March 26. She was accompanied by six associates and helpers, Marian Davis, May Walling, Mrs. Tuxford, Elder and Mrs. Starr, and a Mr. Simpson from New Zealand. Stephen Belden and his wife and Fannie Bolton had gone on ahead by boat two weeks earlier, accompanying a portion of the household goods along with Ellen White's and the Beldens’ horses and the carriages. Emily Campbell was left in Melbourne for a month to rest and catch up on the bookkeeping. 4BIO 138.5

By early afternoon the next day they were surveying the Granville home and its surroundings. The building was large enough, with crowding, for her and her son, Elder and Mrs. Starr, and several of her helpers. Half an hour after their arrival she took her pen to hasten off a letter to Willie, reporting on the trip, describing the unpacked boxes of household goods scattered in different rooms, and announcing that Maude Camp, who was to do the cooking, had just arrived the night before. She added that the house was “better than I had imagined it would be” (Letter 145, 1894). 4BIO 139.1

As do many houses in Australia, it carried a name: Per Ardua. It was of brick and had ten rooms, some oddly shaped. It stood on a three-acre plot with an orchard, a place for a vegetable garden, and a grassy paddock, with some shade from gum trees. There were also shade trees in the front. In her letter Ellen White commented favorably on the fireplaces, the broad porches, and the flower garden; she was pleased with the home generally. The air, she wrote, seemed to give her more freedom in breathing than Melbourne, and she courageously declared: “We all mean to be very cheerful and happy and of good courage in the Lord.” She added, “It is just now a struggle for me, but I shall look to the light and not darkness.” 4BIO 139.2