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Edmund Bean Rudge

Photo courtesy of Adventist Heritage Centre, Australia.

Rudge, Edmund Bean (1886–1960) and Gladys Elizabeth Ursula (Faulkhead) (1887–1983)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: July 19, 2020

Edmund Rudge and his wife Gladys trained as nurses but served the Adventist Church in pastoral ministry in Australia, Fiji, and Great Britain. Edmund Rudge became the president of the Australasian Division in 1939 and held that position during the years of World War II.

Early Years

Edmund Bean Rudge was born in Latrobe, northern Tasmania, on August 9, 1886, to Phillip and Isabella Rudge. The eldest son, he had four brothers and three sisters.1 His parents became Seventh-day Adventists under the ministry of Robert Hare in 1890.2 His father, being a business man, was appointed to manage the fledgling Sanitarium Health Food Company (SHF), beginning in Melbourne and then moving north to Cooranbong, New South Wales, where the manufacturing arm was relocated.3 By 1899, the family was settled at Cooranbong and Edmund Rudge was enrolled as a day student at the Avondale School for Christian Workers where he began his academy level education.4

Despite his business credentials, Edmund Rudge’s father could not get the SHF to turn a profit. The 1899/1900 financial year recorded a loss of over £1,000. The following financial year, 1900/1901, presented a loss of £648.5 The factory premises shut down, except for the printing press, until church membership offerings enabled a restart. Therefore, the Rudge family therefore returned to Tasmania, Philip Rudge resumed door-to-door book selling by October 1901.6 It appears the growing family were thrown on hard times. A position was found for Philip Rudge to oversee the team of colporteurs in New South Wales and the family moved to Sydney.7 To help provide extra income, Isabella Rudge also sold books door-to-door8 and fifteen-year-old Edmund Rudge left home at times to sell Home Handbook in country towns such as Dubbo and Wellington.9 He continued selling books for short periods until 1905,10 interspersed with some work in the Sydney Vegetarian Cafe.11

Some Stability

Edmund Rudge’s decision to enter the 1906 nursing training class at the Sydney Sanitarium was a turning point in his life. It was a two-year course and he continued on at the institution as leading male nurse for more than two years after his graduation.12 Early in 1908, he applied for a wage increase but it was refused. He made a further application in 1909, receiving a five-shilling increase for a total of thirty shillings per week.13 One of the doctors working with Rudge, Eulalia Richards, recognized some preaching abilities in him and urged him to consider doing public evangelism. At the same time, he was offered a lucrative post in a secular institution as a masseur for £8 per week. Another of his colleagues, Matron Elsie Shannan, persuaded him not to accept it. Instead, he accepted lower wages, entering the employ of the New South Wales Conference early in 1910 as tent master for twenty-five shillings per week.14

While working as head nurse, Rudge had befriended Gladys Faulkhead who graduated in the 1909 nursing class.15 She was born in Melbourne on April 10, 1887, and raised in one of the early Adventist families in that city.16 On May 18, 1910, they were married in her home church at Warburton, Victoria. Following their marriage, Edmund and Gladys Rudge returned to work in the New South Wales Conference at Lismore.17 Late in the year, Rudge assisted with a tent crusade at Wellington, New South Wales.18

In 1911, Edmund and Gladys Rudge took charge of the Sydney treatment rooms,19 giving hydrotherapy remedies for a few months before being appointed manager and matron of the Adelaide Sanitarium, an enterprise that was struggling to maintain a clientele.20 They remained at the institution for little more than a year before Rudge returned to tent crusades within the South Australian Conference, first at Port Pirie21 and then Port Adelaide.22

Ordination and Administration

A camp meeting was held in the Adelaide suburb of Walkerville from February 29 to March 12, 1916, during which Rudge was ordained to the ministry.23 After the gathering, he conducted a tent crusade at the same site in order to work with any individuals whose interest was aroused by the camp. He then conducted a major crusade in the Adelaide city hall with the assistance of seventy volunteers from the city membership.24 In the same year, 1916, he was assigned his first conference office administrative role, a minor responsibility as joint secretary of the religious liberty department.25

In 1917, Rudge was transferred to the Queensland Conference for a three-year term. He engaged in pastoral evangelism and was appointed to the conference executive committee.26 He returned to South Australia in 1920 as the conference president.27 In 1922, the family moved to Fiji in order for Rudge to assume the role of superintendent of the Fiji Mission,28 but it was short-term because Gladys Rudge became pregnant with what proved to be twin boys.29 They thought it wise to be close to good medical facilities, so the family returned to Brisbane in 1923 where Edmund Rudge assisted in pastoral evangelism.30 The following year, 1924, he was appointed president of the Queensland Conference.31

Medical clearance was obtained for a return to Fiji in 1925 where, for two years, Rudge was a member of the mission team.32 In late 1926, the Fiji Mission was sub-divided into work for the Fijian nationals and evangelism among the Fijian-Indians. Rudge was appointed to oversee the Fijian-Indian work, but it only lasted twelve months33 before administration of the two units was united once more and he was made the superintendent of the entire Fijian field. He held this position during the fiscally difficult depression years until 1934.34

The Rudge family left Fiji in 1935 to make a permanent return to Australia where Edmund Rudge was appointed as president of the West Australian Conference.35 In 1937, he was assigned to the Australasian Division or Australasian Union Conference (AUC) headquarters at Wahroonga to be one of two vice presidents, his portfolio being the home field.36 In 1939, he was voted in as president of the AUC, retaining the position throughout the Second World War years and beyond.37

During Rudge’s term as president of the AUC, a crisis arose in connection with the Sydney Sanitarium and Hospital. In June 1942 at the height of the war in the South Pacific, General Douglas Macarthur wished to requisition the hospital and transform it into a military base hospital. Rudge and a senior minister, William Pascoe, formed a deputation to appeal the order before the government in Canberra.38 Rudge also sent a lengthy telegram to both Macarthur and the prime minister of Australia, John Curtin. Rudge interpreted the military plans as a carte blanche order and did not try to negotiate a compromise in the name of patriotism. He pointed out that the Church had already loaned eight hundred tents to the forces in training and had adapted the health food company trucks in readiness for use as homeland ambulances. He felt there was a public hospital nearby that would adequately serve Macarthur’s purpose. He argued that the Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist settlement of 130 homes, a church and hall, administrative offices, a school, a dairy, the nurseing training program, and the hospital staff would all be severely disrupted. He added that the erection of quonset huts for army staff would congest the site and sewage facilities would have to be increased.39 The thought of a military presence was quite foreign to the Adventist settlement in Wahroonga. All were very happy when the news was relayed that the prime minister had persuaded Macarthur to search elsewhere for a suitable hospital site.40

With their family now grown, Edmund and Gladys Rudge were happy to accept a transfer to the British Isles where Edmund Rudge would serve as president of the British Union Conference from 1947 through early 1951, an entity then under the direction of the General Conference.41 In mid-1951, Rudge was appointed secretary of the Northern European Division with offices in Middlesex, London.42 This position he held until 1956 when he and Gladys returned to Warburton, Victoria, where they had been married. Rudge gave his last energies to chaplaincy work at Warburton Sanitarium and Hospital from 1957 to 1958. In 1959, the Rudges moved north to Wahroonga, suburban Sydney, where Edmund Rudge died on October 16, 1960.43 Gladys Rudge lived for another twenty-three years, dying at the age of ninety-eight while in care at the Charles Harrison Memorial Home, Cooranbong, New South Wales. Their eldest child, Noreen Alethea had predeceased her mother. Surviving children were Valrie Isobel, Glen Athol, and twins Neil and Edmund.44

Edmund and Gladys Rudge were gifted with good health under many changes of climate. The span of Edmund Rudge’s church employment, extending from his intermittent door-to-door selling in hard times until his chaplaincy at Warburton, lasted fifty-six productive years in a variety of roles, chiefly administrative.

Sources

Anderson, A[lbert] W. “Phillip B. Rudge obituary.” Australasian Record, March 7, 1938.

“Brother E.B. Rudge and Sister Gladys Faulkhead...” Union Conference Record, June 13, 1910.

Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Records. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives. Folder: “Rudge, Edmund Bean.” Document: “Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Record.”

Fulton, J[ohn] E. “Union Conference Council.” Australasian Record, October 2, 1911.

Hare, R[euben] E. “In Memorium—Pastor E.B. Rudge.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, November 7, 1960.

Hare, R[obert]. “Isabella Rudge obituary.” Australasian Record, January 24, 1927.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Union Conference Record, December 1, 1901.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work. Union Conference Record, March 1, 1902.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work. Union Conference Record, April 1, 1902.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Union Conference Record, October 1, 1905.

Rudge, E[dmund] B. and H[arold] A. Lukens. “Port Pirie, South Australia.” Australasian Record, January 20, 1913.

Rudge, E[dmund] B. “Treasured Memories of Courageous Women.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, November 7, 1960.

Rudge, E. B. to John Curtin, June 16, 1942. Sydney Adventist Hospital Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Shelf Records. Folder: Outgoing Correspondence. Document: “Telegram: E.B. Rudge to John Curtin, June 16, 1942.”

Semmens, Emma. “A Pleasant Evening at the Sanitarium.” Union Conference Record, October 11, 1909.

“Sev-Ad Historical Society— Dedicated to Preserving the History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Journal of Pacific Adventist History 8, no. 1 (September 2008): 37-38.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1910-1958.

Smart, A[lbert] and E[dmund] B. Rudge. “Port Adelaide.” Australasian Record, June 29, 1914.

Sydney Sanitarium Executive Board Minutes. Sydney Adventist Hospital Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales. Shelf Records. Document: “Sydney Sanitarium Executive Board Minutes, 1908-1909.”

“The Sanitarium Health Food Company…” Australasian Record, July 3, 1911.

“Union Conference Proceedings.” Union Conference Record, July 24, 1901.

Uttley, S[tuart] M. “Gladys Rudge obituary.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, April 16, 1983.

Westerman, W[alter] J. “Notes from South Australia.” Australasian Record, August 28, 1916.

Westerman, W[alter] J. “South Australian Conference.” Australasian Record, April 24, 1916.

Woods, J[ohn] H. “New South Wales.” Australasian Record, January 2, 1911.

Notes

  1. R[obert] Hare, “Isabella Rudge obituary,” Australasian Record, January 24, 1927, 7.

  2. R[euben E. Hare, “In Memorium—Pastor E.B. Rudge,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, November 7, 1960, 13.

  3. A[lbert] W. Anderson, “Phillip B. Rudge obituary,” Australasian Record, March 7, 1938, 7.

  4. Ibid.

  5. “Union Conference Proceedings,” Union Conference Record, July 24, 1901, 34-37.

  6. “Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work,” Union Conference Record, December 1, 1901, 10.

  7. A[lbert] W. Anderson, “Phillip B. Rudge obituary,” Australasian Record, March 7, 1938, 7.

  8. E.g., “Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work,” Union Conference Record, March 1, 1902, 10.

  9. “Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work, Union Conference Record, April 1, 1902, 8.

  10. E.g., “Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work, Union Conference Record, October 1, 1905, 6.

  11. Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rudge, Edmund Bean,” document: “Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Record.”

  12. Ibid.

  13. Sydney Sanitarium Executive Board Minutes, Sydney Adventist Hospital Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales, Shelf Records, document: “Sydney Sanitarium Executive Board Minutes, February 11, 1908 and September 5, 1909.”

  14. E[dmund] B. Rudge, “Treasured Memories of Courageous Women,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, November 7, 1960, 7, 10.

  15. Emma Semmens, “A Pleasant Evening at the Sanitarium,” Union Conference Record, October 11, 1909, 3-4.

  16. S[tuart] M. Uttley, “Gladys Rudge,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, April 16, 1983, 13.

  17. “Brother E.B. Rudge and Sister Gladys Faulkhead...,” Union Conference Record, June 13, 1910, 8.

  18. J[ohn] H. Woods, “New South Wales,” Australasian Record, January 2, 1911, 4.

  19. “The Sanitarium Health Food Company...,” Australasian Record, July 3, 1911, 8.

  20. J[ohn] E. Fulton, “Union Conference Council,” Australasian Record, October 2, 1911, 2.

  21. E[dmund] B. Rudge and H[arold] A. Lukens, “Port Pirie, South Australia,” Australasian Record, January 20, 1913, 5.

  22. A[lbert] Smart and E[dmund] B. Rudge, “Port Adelaide,” Australasian Record, June 29, 1914, 4.

  23. W[alter] J. Westerman, “South Australian Conference,” Australasian Record, April 24, 1916, 2-3.

  24. W[alter] J. Westerman, “Notes from South Australia,” Australasian Record, August 28, 1916, 6.

  25. “South Australian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1916), 135-136.

  26. E.g., “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1917), 140.

  27. “South Australian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1920), 194.

  28. “Fiji Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1922), 148.

  29. Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rudge, Edmund Bean,” document: “Edmund Bean Rudge Work Service Record.”

  30. “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1923), 167.

  31. “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1924), 173.

  32. E.g., “Fiji Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1925), 188.

  33. “Fiji-Indian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927), 220.

  34. E.g., “Fiji Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1928), 236.

  35. E.g., “West Australian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1936), 74.

  36. “Australasian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1937), 69.

  37. E.g., “Australasian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1946), 71.

  38. “Sev-Ad Historical Society— Dedicated to Preserving the History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Journal of Pacific Adventist History 8, no. 1 (September 2008): 38.

  39. E. B. Rudge to John Curtin, June 16, 1942, Sydney Adventist Hospital Archives, Wahroonga, New South Wales, Shelf Records, folder: Outgoing Correspondence, document: “Telegram: E.B. Rudge to John Curtin, June 16, 1942.”

  40. “Sev-Ad Historical Society— Dedicated to Preserving the History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Journal of Pacific Adventist History 8, no. 1 (September 2008): 38.

  41. E.g., “British Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947), 211.

  42. E.g., “Northern European Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1952), 142.

  43. R[ueben] E. Hare, “In Memorium—Pastor E.B. Rudge,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, November 7, 1960, 13.

  44. S[tuart] M. Uttley, “Gladys Rudge obituary,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, April 16, 1983, 13.

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Hook, Milton. "Rudge, Edmund Bean (1886–1960) and Gladys Elizabeth Ursula (Faulkhead) (1887–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 19, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=383P.

Hook, Milton. "Rudge, Edmund Bean (1886–1960) and Gladys Elizabeth Ursula (Faulkhead) (1887–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 19, 2020. Date of access May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=383P.

Hook, Milton (2020, July 19). Rudge, Edmund Bean (1886–1960) and Gladys Elizabeth Ursula (Faulkhead) (1887–1983). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=383P.