A Quest for a Fair GoThe Knights of the Southern Cross
The book outlines the history of the Order in the Queensland Church and in the broader society. This story recounts their activities within the political and social context of those times. It tells the story of a group of men who had continually experienced discrimination and bigotry and were determined to ensure that such activity should cease, thus achieving a ‘fair go for all’. From the first meeting at St Stephen’s School in Brisbane on 29 October 1921 the organisation soon spread to both metropolitan and regional centres of Queensland. From the outset the Knights were firmly committed to ending discrimination in employment and sought to advance the Christian way of life, promote the welfare of its members and their families and encourage spiritual, social and intellectual activities. The Order was strongly supported by the Catholic bishops and worked closely with them. Its sphere of influence over the next ninety-five years ranged across areas such as combating discrimination, obtaining employment, achieving equity in governmental support in education, advocating on economic and social justice issues, campaigning on life issues and providing support for a myriad of charitable works both in Queensland and overseas. Two of their more well-known achievements were the establishment and continuation of the Parents & Friends Association and facilities for aged care through Southern Cross Care (Queensland). The fight to achieve a ‘fair go for all’ was not without its setbacks and the financial collapse of the organisation’s national and state based finance company was a major setback to such endeavours. Yet, in spite of these setbacks the Order responded positively to these challenges and also sought to implement the decisions of Vatican II. It has remained committed to such ideals and is currently seeking to respond to the challenge of Pope Francis to ‘help rebuild the church by seeking to go out to the peripheries and serve the marginalised’. This is a story of deeply held faith and a commitment to live out the Christian way of life in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, while continuing the Order’s commitment to the quest to achieve a ‘fair go for all’.