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September 17, 2009
By Graham Davis
BRISBANE'S magnificent St John's
Anglican Cathedral was the scene on
Father's Day of the 72nd annual Seafarers'
Service and wreath-laying ceremony.
It was an impressive, colourful and moving
ceremony attended by 250 people including
50 RAN and Australian Navy Cadet person-
nel, sailors young and old, dignitaries and
Navy Reserve members played a dominant
role in the service.
They joined with members of the merchant
marine with RAN CHAP William Pearson the
State Chaplain of the Naval Association of
Australia, as well as Rev Daniel Vun, Senior
Chaplain of the Mission to Seafarers, leading
the congregation in several prayers.
Dean of the cathedral the Very Rev'd Dr
Peter Catt welcomed the congregation to the
cathedral and delivered the homily.
The service began with 11 cadets from TS
Gayundah marching to the sanctuary, each
carrying a flag or pennant of a commercial
shipping company or an organisation associ-
ated with the sea such as the Torres Strait
Pilots and the Flying Angels.
The chaplains accepted the pennants, plac-
ing them in stands to the right and left of the
altar. A trio of merchant marine veterans fol-
lowed and their distinctive Red Ensign was
laid up on the altar.
Guard commander CPO Paul Cannard then
directed the RAN's white ensign party, PO
Mark Davidson, LS Jeanette Abel and AB
Beau Thomas, into the cathedral and up to
the communion rail, where the ensign was
accepted and also laid up.
A wreath-laying ceremony followed some
bible readings, with aide-de-camp to the
Governor of Queensland, LCDR Matt Rowe,
laying the first tribute as representative for the
Governor, Penny Wensley.
In the Ode of Remembrance, CHAP Vun
reminded the congregation: "They have no
grave but the cruel sea. No flowers lay at their
head. A rusting hulk is their tombstone. A'fast
on the ocean bed."
The Navy bugler's Last Post echoed
throughout the vast stone cathedral before
the congregation stood to observe a minute's
In his intercession CHAP Pearson said:
"We pray for the women and men of the
Navy, Army and Air Force, as they continue to
defend trade routes of the world."
The Queensland detachment of the RAN
Band, a Reserve unit, led by CPO Andrew
Stapleton, provided all music for the hour-
in Brisbane on
SPECIAL: TS Gayundah cadets stand ready
to present flags and pennants of merchant
shipping companies and seafaring groups.
Photos: Graham Davis
ALL HONOUR: The ensign party arrives.
KEEPING TIME: CPOMUSN Andrew Stapleton
directs the QLD Detachment of the RAN Band.
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