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Related Links
Biography: T. K. Sidey
Web Link : J. T. Paul
Web Link : Robert Stout
Biography: Daniel Dutton

Religion: Men at Church

Three quarters of the men of southern Dunedin attended Sunday School as boys. Here they absorbed Christian teachings, morals and ethics, which many retained for life. Active church participation declined as boys grew into teenagers. In addition, the 'unskilled' were under-represented in most Protestant church congregations on 'the Flat'. This was a carry over of British patterns, where working class men had long been the least regular church-goers. It was widely accepted and men were seldom under pressure to go to church, even when their wives were keen on attending.

J.T. PaulMost men were still married in church - or by a minister at home - and most received Christian burials. However, few adult males were regular churchgoers. Working class men often left church-going to their wives. Yet church-going men, such as T.K. Sidey and J.T. Paul, played prominent roles in local politics and community affairs. This is an election poster from Paul's unsuccessful campaign to take South Dunedin parliamentary seat from Sidey in 1919. (Hocken Library - Uare Taoka O Hakena, University of Otago)

Stone LayingAn organised group of 'freethinkers', most of them men, was active in southern Dunedin from the 1880s. They even had their own building, the 'Lyceum' in the central city. Robert Stout, who was President of the Dunedin Freethought Association, represented the area in Parliament. He became Premier in 1884. Rejecting Christianity was no barrier to social status or respectability. This photograph records the laying down of foundation stone for the Dunedin Lyceum, Dowling Street, 1881. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

Caversham Baptist Bible CampReligion was not just for the women the Southern suburbs. There was a vibrant tradition of Christian masculinity too. Church ministers were highly respected throughout the community when they displayed a staunch faith, tempered by warmth, sensitivity and tolerance. There were church clubs and sports links too, where young men could combine male sporting and cultural interests with a strong Christian identification. This photograph shows the participants at a Caversham Baptist Bible Camp. (Otago Witness, 10 April 1926, Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

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