Anzac Day Dawn Service


Anzac Day Dawn Service 

Date: Saturday 25 April 

Time: 5.30am

The ANZAC Day  Dawn Service has special significance in Albany as it is purportedly the site of Australia's first Dawn Service, conducted by Padre White and is expected to attract significant number

The Dawn Service will be held at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial on Mt Clarence. This will be a non-ticketed event with buses available from the Albany Boat Shed and Middleton Beach between 3-5am (or while there is capacity at the Memorial). The shuttle bus service will be charging a gold coin donation, with all proceeds to the Albany RSL.

For all event information, please read the following document:

History of the Dawn Service

In 1912 Father Arthur Ernest White came to Western Australia to become a Priest member of the Bush Brotherhood of Saint Boniface based at Williams and first visited Albany in October that year. In 1916 he sailed in a troopship from Fremantle bound for the Great War in Europe after joining the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF). He had been appointed Army Chaplain (Padre) to the 44th Infantry Battalion. Padre White returned to Western Australia from the war in Europe in early 1918 due to treatment for a worsening ear condition. 

After a brief stint serving both the Army and the Church in the Eastern States of Australia in September 1929 he returned to Western Australia to become the Rector of Albany.

It was on the first Anzac Day of his incumbency, 25 April 1930 that he celebrated a Requiem Mass for the Battle Dead at St John’s at Dawn. Directly after the Requiem, Father White, the choir and congregation maoved in procession to the nearby War memorial for a simple wreath laying ceremony, which concluded with the words ”As the run rises and goeth down, we will remember them”. 

It is reported that after this service the following and subsequent years, he and fellow memebrs of the congregation climbed to the summit of Mount Clarence, where from the same viewpoint the people of Albany had gathered to watch the convoy of ships leave for the Great War in 1914. 

In memory of those troops, Padre White had arranged for a boatman to cast a wreath in King George Sound at the harbour entrance. The Dawn Service at Albany differed to other by the laying of a wreath on the Sound, where the majority of the troops bound for the Great War had their last view of Australia. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this exhibition may include names, images, and references to people who have since passed away.

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