Man with a cause
The Australian Womens Weekly
28th December 1966
Harry Rankin is trying to raise $500 he still owes on a small second-hand bus he bought for a childrens Home at Nowra, NSW.
The Home, Inasmuch, at Falls Creek, seven miles from Nowra. It's founder, Miss Myrtel Townsend, a retired Salvation Army major who has devoted her life to the care of children.
Mr Rankin bought the bus for $1250 to replace the battered old car Miss Townsend used for many years.
He paid the $400 deposit out of his own pocket, his workmates donated $100 and he managed to raise the rest from other sources.
It was eight years ago, leafing through a copy of The Australian Women's Weekly, that Mr. Rankin came across a story which told of the quiet heroism of the tall, grey-haired Miss Townsend, and how she had taken 13 destitute children under her wing.
Miss Townsend spent 34 years in the Salvation Army caring for waifs as a welfare worker, and when she retired at 51 she started her own home.
In his late fifties, Mr Rankin has known the ups and downs of life.
He passed Inasmuch regularly in his work as general transport carrier, and it was on one of these trips that he decided to call in and see if there was anything he could do to help.
He found there was plenty of work for a man with capable hands, and he saw that it was not just antoehr orphanage with a matron, but a home with a loving mother.
So Mr Rankin kept on 'calling in', devoiting weekends to doing repairs around the house, helping with the heavy work in the garden, fetching the children any little treats he could afford.
When he drove up to Inasmuch recently with Christmas presents for Miss Townsends's 'family', he was dismayed to see what remained of her battered old car lying beside the house.
"It has been behaving pretty bladly for a while, and a young fellow, who offered to take it for a test drive, wrapped it round a tree,' he said.
''Well, now I knew Miss Townsend couldn't get along without some sort of transport - she has to go seven miles into town each day for supplies - and she has very little money to get by on, so I went straight back to Sydney and bought her the bus.
She can take all the kids out in it now.
"She has a heart as big as an elephant, and she certainly lives up to the name she has given her home - Inasmuch. It comes from Matthew, Chapter 25, verse 40: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."