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Grave of Padre White and the collections of several museums

Grave of Padre White and the collections of several museums

Herberton Historic Village
6 Broadway Street
Herberton QLD, 4887

Herberton Historic Village
6 Broadway Street
Herberton QLD, 4887

Herberton Mining Museum and Information Centre
1 Jacks Road
Herberton QLD, 4887
 

Once a busy mining town, producing tin and other minerals from mines driven deep into the earth, Herberton provided the First AIF with expert tunnellers. The award winning Herberton Historic Village is an extensive museum made up of characteristic businesses from the past, housed in refurbished original buildings, and features a collection of war artefacts, uniforms and other memorabilia.

As a priest at Albany in Western Australia when the first great convoy assembled in November 1914 to transport AIF troops to the battlefields of Europe and the Middle East, the Reverend Arthur White conducted a service for all of those about to leave for the war. Albany became his parish once more when he returned to Australia in 1919. White is often celebrated as the man who conducted the first Anzac Day dawn service, at Albany in 1923 – though this tenacious legend is contested. In 1923 Padre White was working in Melbourne, but returned to Albany in 1929. The first dawn service is also thought to have been conducted in Sydney in 1927.

White died in Herberton in Queensland on 26 September 1954, and was buried in Herberton’s cemetery under a plain slab carrying these simple, unprepossessing words: ‘A Priest’.

Another plaque, added later when friends considered that first inscription inadequate, notes Whites’ adjacent grave, adding that he was a ‘Church of England clergyman and padre to the 44th Battalion, First AIF’. It continues: ‘On April 25th, 1923, at Albany, WA, Rev. White led a party of friends in what was the first ever observance of the Dawn Parade on Anzac Day, thus establishing a tradition which has endured in Australia ever since’.

The once simple note that ‘a priest’ is buried here has been recently augmented with a chapel in the shape of a characteristic bell tent of WWI, built by the local Lion’s Club. Herberton, like Albany, Broken Hill and Forbes, continues to honour Canon White and to preserve his story as a part of their heritage.
Herberton’s museums have significant displays associated with the town’s Great War history. A visitor who wishes to understand Herberton has much to see and can follow a trail to several sites, guided by the local Information Centre, which includes a substantial display regarding Canon White and other wartime history.

References
The Life and Myths of Padre White (ABC website): http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2008/04/24/2226839.htm
Herberton Information Centre website: http://www.herbertonvisitorcentre.com.au/
Herberton Historic Village website: http://www.historicvillageherberton.com.au/
Herberton Mining Museum: http://www.magsq.com.au/_dbase_upl/HMM%20Profile.pdf
In the Cold Light of Dawn (Australian War Memorial): http://www.awm.gov.au/wartime/38/article2/
Birthplace of the Anzac Dawn Service Tradition (Albany): http://www.anzacalbany.com.au/discover-ww1-albany/albany-convoy-departure/
Origins of the Dawn Service: Spontaneity and Nationhood by Robyn Mayes (Curtin University, Espace@Curtin Research Repository): http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au/cgi-bin/espace.pdf?file=/2010/09/01/file_1/134224