View from Padre White Lookout

View from Padre White LookoutNeil McKnight688 x 380 px. 67.8 Kb.

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AA

Padre White Lookout

Born in London in 1883 Arthur Earnest White is con­sidered to be the Father of the ANZAC Dawn Service.

Arriv­ing in Albany aboard the SS Per­sic in 1912, White spent the next 4 years based in Williams. Frequ­ent­ly visit­ing Albany he was like­ly pre­s­ent on November 7, 1914, when the ANZAC con­voy gathered in King George Sound to leave for the Great War.

In 1916, White joined the Australian Im­per­ial Force, serv­ing in France as an army chapla­in, 'Padre', with the 44th Battalion. He was medic­ally dis­charged in 1918, re­turn­ing to Albany.

On Febru­ary 24, Rev White held a priv­ate re­quiem mass for the battle dead at St John's Church, after which the group walked to the summit of Mt Clar­ence to watch a boat­man cast a wreath into the harbour.

Re­verend White left for the east coast, un­til 1929, when he re­turned to Albany to become Re­ctor of Saint John's Church.

On April 25th, 1930 he in­troduced a dawn service, en­d­ing with a wreath being laid at the nearby war mem­orial. The follow­ing year he added cast­ing a wreath into King George Sound and climb­ing to the summit of Mount Clar­ence, where many had gathered to watch the con­voy de­part in 1914. This tradi­tion was re­pea­ted every ANZAC Day.

Rev White left Albany in 1938 and spent the rest of his life in New South Wales. He died in 1954 aged 71.

White is con­sidered to be the Father of the ANZAC Dawn Service.

Today the Padre White Look­out is an Albany icon, popular for its histori­cal signific­ance and for the swee­ping pan­ora­mic views of King George Sound, Middle­ton Beach, dist­­ant Porongorup and Stirl­ing Ranges, and Albany surrounds.

Part of the Heritage Park com­plex, the look­out com­prises a steel walk­way, view­ing platform, in­terpret­ive signage and acc­ent light­ing. The Look­out was re­furbished in 2013 as part of the $5.8m Heritage Park upgrade and featured prom­in­en­t­ly in the 2014 ANZAC Centen­ary celebrations.

Article updated 19/10/2016.