100 years of The Far East

The Far East cover from the May issue, 1921. Photo: Missionary Society of St Columban

The Far East cover from the May issue, 1921. Photo: Missionary Society of St Columban

The October edition of The Far East magazine marks the beginning of the 100th year since The Far East was first published in October, 1920 with Columban Fr Edward Maguire as the editor. Subscription rates to any address in Australia and New Zealand was 5/ a year and Sixpence for a single copy.

In the opening editorial there was a strong assertion of the urgency of mission to China, the place of the Columban Society in that work, and the obligations of Australian Catholics to respond. To encourage their ongoing support it stated:
"A publication devoted to the conversion of China does not need to apologise for appearing just now in any Christian country…."

By 1921, as the first Columbans began to settle in China, the covers depicted a Chinese scene of an elaborate dragon being paraded through the streets in a village. This cover was repeated in various colours until May 1922 when more creative Chinese influenced artwork was introduced.

Artwork and editorial changed significantly over the years to include stories from the 16 countries where Columbans now work. They included stories from Columban Priests, Columban Sisters, Columban Lay Missionaries and the laity.

When The Far East turned 90 years, the editor Fr Gary Walker wrote, “The Far East started with missionaries writing letters home to their families about their missionary work and the people they met in distant places. It was exotic then, but not today when people have travelled so much. The heart of The Far East has always been the same about our wonderful God revealed in Jesus and sharing that news."

And how can we forget one of the most loved and fondly remembered characters of The Far East - Mickie Daly. We still receive requests to bring him back!

We pay tribute to the past editors of The Far East whose commitment to the magazine has resulted in it being one of our flagships even today. Columban Frs Edward Maguire, Hugh Donnelly, William Kehoe, Tom O’Brien, Donal O’Mahony, John Colgan, Gary Walker and Daniel Harding.

We say thank you, to our benefactors, for supporting The Far East and ensuring its longevity in sharing the Good News.

Listen to "100 years of The Far East"

Related links