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The car was a 1923 5CV model. Now, what makes this little car, and this event of special interest to us at TIJ, is that its owner and driver was Nevill Westwood, a 22-year-old Seventh-day Adventist missionary/evangelist from Carmel College, Western Australia.
Nevill wanted to share the Good News of Jesus – the Everlasting Gospel – and the grand truths of the Bible. He decided that he would start by undertaking mission work in the remote bush of the northwest corner of Australia.
So, Nevill bought this car second-hand in Perth. It had already travelled 48,000 kilometres. He gave the little car a nickname – Bubsie – and left Perth with a Bible student, Greg Davies, in the Citroën on 4 August 1925 on an incredible missionary journey.
These brave evangelists had no spares and no support. They relied on their ingenuity and faith. And a great deal of both were needed to ensure they could get through some areas. Along the way punctured tyres were filled with grass and cowhide and the car was carried across the Fitzroy River by local Aboriginal people.
The little Citroën was the first car to cross from Western Australia into the Northern Territory. After many more challenges, the intrepid adventurers crossed the rabbit-proof fence into Queensland. Soft sand in creek beds were a problem, but luckily the little Citroën was quite light and could be dug out and pushed or pulled.
The journey to Brisbane and then on to Sydney was far easier than the earlier part of the drive, as the areas were more inhabited, and had a better road system.
Greg Davies quit the journey at Albury on the New South Wales and Victorian border. Nevill Westwood went on to Melbourne and Adelaide. He returned to Perth, escorted by a welcoming convoy of motorists on 30 December 1925. He was the first person to drive right around Australia!
Nevill Westwood had one goal on this incredible journey: wherever he went, he shared the story of Jesus.
Just like the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys captured the imagination of Nevill Westwood, so Nevill’s missionary journey has captured our imagination at TIJ. And so, after 2 years of planning and discussion with Citroën Australia and the National Museum in Canberra, where the original ‘Bubsie’ is on display, THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY has big plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this pioneering event in 2025.
The plans include:
1. Retracing the steps of Nevill Westwood on his missionary trip around Australia in a similar 1923 Citroën 5CV.
2. Re-enacting a number of scenes from the original expedition.
3. In the true spirit of Nevill’s journey, we’ll be sharing the Everlasting Gospel as we go. This will include conducting major evangelistic campaigns in all the state capitals of Australia, as well as outreach programs and other forms of evangelism in many of the smaller regional centres and across rural Australia.
4. Producing a number of spiritual television programs for national and international broadcast.
5. Producing social media content on a daily basis that portrays each day’s activities.
6. Engage with all forms of local and national media to promote the incredible journey of this young Seventh-day Adventist missionary/evangelist pioneer and the message he shared along the way.
The plans are presently underway, as we’ve already travelled and explored much of the original Nevill Westwood route. We’ve also
established a film crew to produce television programs of the journey, as well as a car crew to drive the vintage 1923 Citroën 5CV as we retrace Nevill’s journey, and a small crew of actors to re-enact scenes along the way.
So, it’s all happening! We, at The Incredible Journey, are excited about the potential of this ‘once in a life-time’ opportunity to share the Everlasting Gospel right around Australia.