The Fascinating Life of Mr Eternity

By: Stephen O’Doherty | Open House

Eternity. It’s a word that has captivated the people of Sydney and beyond since it mysteriously started appearing in yellow chalk on Sydney’s footpaths in the 1930s.

It was only in 1956 that the identity of the mystery chalker was revealed as Arthur Stace, a reformed alcoholic whose heart was dramatically changed after walking into a men’s meeting at St Barnabas Church Broadway, primarily for warmth, a cup of tea and a rock cake.

JB Hammond was preaching as Arthur sat with other down and outs.

“If any of you men are sick of the lives you are living, there is One who loves you who will set you free and His name is Jesus,” invited Hammond, and Arthur stepped forward.

The story of Arthur Stace is not only a story of redemption, but it is a story of the times and the city in which he lived.

For the 50 year anniversary of his death the Bible Society commissioned a first-ever biography of Stace by award winning author and historian Roy Williams, with Elizabeth Myers whose whose parents were close friends of Arthur Stace.

On Open House we explored with Roy Williams some of Arthur’s intriguing, and previously unknown, background story.

The book, Mr Eternity: One Man, One Word is now available at Koorong Stores and at

Listen: Author Roy Williams in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty

Article supplied with thanks to Open House.

Stephen O’Doherty is a broadcaster, journalist, former member of parliament, and the Host of Open House – a weekly three-hour live talkback radio show exploring life, faith and Hope from a Christian perspective.