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Westminster Abbey Honours Father of Modern Australia

Wednesday, 9th July 2014

Westminster Abbey Honours Father of Modern Australia

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended a Service to Dedicate a Memorial to Admiral Arthur Phillip RN at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 9th July.

Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) commanded the First Fleet of convicts and military that left the United Kingdom in 1787 and founded the colony of New South Wales.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

This modest, yet world-class seaman, linguist, and patriot, whose selfless service laid the secure foundations on which was developed the Commonwealth of Australia, will always be remembered and honoured alongside other pioneers and inventors here in the Nave: David Livingstone, Thomas Cochrane, and Isaac Newton.
It is a pleasure to welcome representatives of the Britain-Australia Society and to thank them for their active engagement in this project. Our prayer is that this memorial will always reflect the excellent ties that bind the people and governments of Britain and Australia, ties of history and friendship, common interest, and mutual support, and that contribute to the health and wealth of our world.

An Address was given by the Dean.

A Reflection was given by Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Governor of New South Wales.

Vice Admiral David Steel RN CBE, Chief of Naval Personnel and Training and Second Sea Lord, Royal Navy, read Isaiah 60: 1-11 and His Excellency The Honourable Alexander Downer AC, High Commissioner of Australia to the Court of St James, read St Matthew 8: 23-27.

Sir Christopher Benson DL, Chairman, the Britain-Australia Society Education Trust, invited the Dean to dedicate the memorial. Wreaths were laid by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Denis Smith OAM, Vice President, Fellowship of First Fleeters, and by Gillian Doyle, President, Arthur Phillip Chapter, Fellowship of First Fleeters.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and said by: Senator The Honourable George Brandis QC, Australian Attorney General and Minister for the Arts; the Right Honourable Dominic Grieve QC, Attorney General for England and Wales; the Reverend George Bush, Rector, St Mary-le-Bow Church, London; and the Reverend Andrew Sempell, Rector, St James’s Church, King Street, Sydney NSW.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist and before the service by Peter Holder, Organ Scholar.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 523 KB)

The Dean's Sermon

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