During the 1920s Toc H spread around the world, especially to the Commonwealth countries. In 1923, the then Governor General of Australia, Lord Forster wrote to Tubby Clayton indicating that he and Lady Forster wished to endow a Toc H Lamp, the symbol of Toc H, in memory of their two sons who were killed during World War I. He also added that he was trying to get Toc H started in Australia. In the following year, a Lamp was lit by H.R.H., the Prince of Wales and Patron of Toc H, at a Toc H Festival in the Albert Hall in London and it was named the Forster Lamp. It was brought to Australia by Padres Tubby Clayton and Pat Leonard in 1925 and given to Lord and Lady Forster. At first, it was intended that the Forster Lamp should be presented to the first Toc H Group in Australia to be granted full Branch status, but with Groups starting up almost simultaneously in all States, some Toc H members thought that this could lead to unhealthy competition. It was then suggested in ‘The Link, the National Journal of Toc H, that the Forster Lamp should become the Federal Lamp and be kept burning in Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Newcastle, New South Wales. A Ceremony of Enshrinement was held in 1926 during which the Forster Lamp was placed in the Warriors’ Chapel. The Ceremony was attended by over 2000 people. In the following year, 1927, a great Toc H Festival was held in Christ Church Cathedral and the Forster Lamp was used to light five other Toc H Lamps – from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle. This splendid Cathedral, with its Warriors’ Chapel, became the Spiritual Home of Toc H in Australia and today much of its history can be found there. Included in it are the effigy of Lord and Lady Forster’s son, the bust of Lord Forster himself, the Changi Rushlight, a beautifully crafted Carpenter’s Bench, and the bronze sculpture of Tubby’s dog, Chippie. The Forster Lamp is housed in a splendid Tabernacle.
The Forster Lamp
The Changi Rushlight
By the early 1930’s Toc H had been established in all Australian States and it was fortunate to have had the active support of all of the State Governors, Church leaders and many prominent business people. There were active Branches in all of the Capital Cities and in many country towns. It was during these years that Toc H members believed that they truly belonged to a Family, and the strong bonds of friendship that developed amongst them, in most cases, lasted a lifetime. Toc H became a household name and it was well-known and highly respected around Australia. Its Aims, Objectives and Ideals were seen to be very worthwhile and it became a way of life for many people. It has never been a large Movement like Rotary or Lions but it has made many significant contributions to Australian society. It has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people from all walks of life in positive ways and it has helped many to lead worthwhile and meaningful lives. In short, it has ‘Cared for People’.