View from Padre White Lookout

View from Padre White LookoutNeil McKnight
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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.