10 June 2014

“We slept on straw-filled sacks”

Posted in Our heritage

Bev Hodgson has been involved with SU over 70 years, across three countries

In 1944, 14-year-old Bev became involved in the then-Crusader Union at Brisbane Grammar School.

Seventy years, three children, and 10 grandchildren later, Bev is still devoted to SU QLD’s mission.

In the earlier years, I was involved in activities like camps and Saturday night ‘Drawing Room Meetings’. We gathered together for games and singing, and listening to guest speakers,” he says.

In his late teens or early twenties, Bev led beach missions and boys’ camps. “In those days, there were only a few camps a year. The boys’ camps were not as ‘gentle’ as they are now and we didn’t even have beds – we took sacks and straw to sleep on.” But, he says, the concept is still the same. “Give kids a great holiday in a positive environment, where leaders can be a good influence.

Bev has volunteered on SU committees in Sydney, London, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne and Brisbane.

A highlight for Bev in his years of service was helping orchestrate the first National Scripture Union Week in 1958 as NSW representative on the federal organising committee. “It was a huge effort and nothing like that had been attempted, involving such active cooperation between the states. It was a very rewarding time.

Bev says he could never have foreseen the type of growth that SU QLD is now experiencing. “It’s been encouraging to see the pioneering spirit drive SU QLD’s work over the decades. As people have been willing to expand their vision, SU QLD has been able to take the lead in a lot of ‘big’ things like the hugely significant chaplaincy service,” he says.

Nothing I have done for SU will measure up to what SU has done for me. It’s had an enormous influence on my life and I’ve gained far more than I’ve ever put in.

Without faithful pioneers, volunteers and supporters like you, SU QLD would not have the impact it does. Thank you for your continued support!



  1. I love Bev’s story and I heartily echo his final statement. I too could never repay SU Qld for what it has given me. I was privileged to have worked under Jim Rawson and Keith Drinkall, and can add to them so many quality Christian leaders who helped in my Christian formation. The organisation hS indeed changed, but there will always be that special ethos that defines a true SU person. Bible-based, gospel-focused, pragmatic, fun-loving, risk-taking and just a little bit unpredictable!

  2. And Chris O’Gorman can add herself to that list of quality leaders that impacted in the formation of so many other Christian people and leaders, myself and my wife included. May that ethos never be too far away…..

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