It is believed that Father Arthur Ernest White held the first dawn service at St John’s Church on the Sunday before Anzac Day in 1930. In keeping with this year’s commemorations, Father Edward Argyle conducted a mass at 6.00 am on Sunday 19th April. The three hour service honoured not only those who fought in World War 1 but also those who have fought in subsequent wars in Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and in recent conflicts in Afghanistan and the middle east. The service was followed by a walk to the Padre White Lookout on Mount Clarence. This was a significant innovation which could well be continued in future years.
It was a shock to local citizens to learn of Father Edward Argyle’s sudden death from heart failure on 25 June. Father Argyle had a secular career before being ordained in 1980. He first served in overseas parishes in England and Ireland, then in the south of WA at Albany, Jerramungup, Cranbrook and Mt Barker before becoming parish priest in Albany in 2011. He was highly regarded by parishioners who formed part of the large crowd of family and friends who took part in the funeral procession down York Street led by a piper and fellow clergy. It is to be hoped that the Padre White service followed by the walk to Mount Clarence which he initiated may continue in future years.