The Outlook

Photo courtesy of South Pacific Division Heritage Centre.

The Outlook (Australasian Union Conference)

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.

The Outlook was an occasional periodical of the First World War-era focusing on topical religious issues. Approximately eighty-five per cent of the first issue, with a print run of fifty thousand, was distributed to local church missionary secretaries by September 1914.1 It received minimal advertising in church news columns. Only one testimonial from a reader was published, praise from a Congregational minister who was thrilled with the articles about Christ’s second coming.2

Published by the Signs Publishing Company (SPC) in Warburton, Victoria, the second and third issues appeared in 1917 when there was considerable war-time unemployment and trade union unrest. Both issues focused on capitalism and labor topics and the widening gap between rich and poor.3 Once again, fifty thousand copies were printed in each print run, featuring a three-color cover and illustrations throughout the issues. One promotion described the periodical as a digest of twelve chapters. This is the only indication of its size. The retail price was sixpence per copy or half price for wholesale quantities.4 Elder William Turner of the Home Mission Department in the Australasian Union Conference promoted it and colporteurs were successful in selling it door to door.5

At the end of 1917, Turner became president of the South Australian Conference.6 Elder Cecil Meyers replaced him as editor and made a reassessment of all periodicals printed by the SPC. Paper and labor costs were rising rapidly and The Outlook became a casualty when publication was suspended despite the printers’ three-year reserve stock of paper and the staff members’ agreement to work for minimal wages.7

No physical copies of the pre-1921 issues are known to have survived. The only visual image of a front cover of The Outlook appeared in a 1917 church news column.8

In 1921, The Outlook was revived and combined with the Australasian Union health magazine under the title The World Outlook and Good Health Review. During 1921 and 1922, it was issued bi-monthly with a colored cover and priced at one shilling each. The print run numbered 12,000 copies.9 In 1923 and 1924, it was published as a thirty-two page quarterly for the same price. During these four years, the editors were Charles Snow and Alexander King in addition to Dr. W. Howard James who edited the health articles. The tone for articles about world conditions was gloomy, focusing on east versus west issues, famines, earthquakes, war preparations in Europe, and civil unrest. The health topics were brighter with columns headed “Hints for the Housewife” and “Chats with the Doctor.” In its final year, 1924, another column entitled “The Children’s World” was included.10 Similar topics on world conditions were carried in the Signs of the Times (Australasia) so in order to reduce duplication The World Outlook and Good Health Review was terminated in 1924 and the Signs of the Times was continued with increased pages. The health periodical was revived as a separate entity. A regular children’s periodical followed a few years later.

Sources

Johanson, J[ohan] M. “Signs Publishing Company, Limited.” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914.

Johanson, J[ohan] M. “Signs Publishing Company’s Report.” Australasian Record, October 9, 1922.

Joseph, Geo[rge] S. “The Canvasser as a Gospel Worker.” Australasian Record, November 19, 1917.

Meyers, C[ecil] K. “Our Missions Campaign.” Australasian Record, December 3, 1917.

Miller, A[lfred] G. “Our Periodicals.” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914.

Miller, W[alter] H.B. “Signs Publishing Company, Limited.” Australasian Record, October 21, 1918.

Minchin, D. “Notes from Tasmania.” Australasian Record, July 16, 1917.

The World Outlook and Good Health Review. 1922-1924, South Pacific Division Heritage Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, NSW.

Turner, W[illiam] G. “Home Mission Department.” Australasian Record, September 24, 1917.

T[urner], W[illiam] G. “Our Latest Publication.” Australasian Record, July 16, 1917.

Notes

  1. J[ohan] M. Johanson, “Signs Publishing Company, Limited,” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914, 14.

  2. A[lfred] G. Miller, “Our Periodicals,” Australasian Record, September 28, 1914, 17.

  3. W[illiam] G. Turner, “Home Missions Department,” Australasian Record, September 24, 1917, 3-4.

  4. W[illiam] G. Turner, “Our Latest Publication,” Australasian Record, July 16, 1917, 6.

  5. D. Minchin, “Notes from Tasmania,” Australasian Record, July 16, 1917, 5-6; Geo[rge] S. Joseph, “The Canvasser as a Gospel Worker,” Australasian Record, November 19, 1917, 4-5.

  6. C[ecil] K. Meyers, “Our Missions Campaign,” Australasian Record, December 3, 1917, [7].

  7. W[alter] H.B. Miller, “Signs Publishing Company, Limited,” Australasian Record, October 21, 1918, 19-21.

  8. W[illiam] G. Turner, “Our Latest Publication,” Australasian Record, July 16, 1917, 6.

  9. J[ohan] M. Johanson, “Signs Publishing Company’s Report,” Australasian Record, October 9, 1922, 20-22.

  10. Note: Only four issues of The World Outlook and Good Health Review are extant. They are 1922-1924, vol. 2 no. 5, vol. 3 no. 4, vol. 4 no. 2 and vol. 4 no. 3, Shelf Periodicals, South Pacific Division Heritage Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, NSW.

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Hook, Milton. "The Outlook (Australasian Union Conference)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed June 20, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FG4T.

Hook, Milton. "The Outlook (Australasian Union Conference)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access June 20, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FG4T.

Hook, Milton (2021, April 28). The Outlook (Australasian Union Conference). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 20, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FG4T.