Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The dedication of the Douglas Memorial Chapel at the Quetta Memorial Cathedral on Thursday Island in 1913

An article on the dedication of the Douglas Memorial Chapel at the Quetta Memorial Cathedral on Thursday Island in 1913.

Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 1 July 1913, page 6



The Quetta Cathedral was filled yesterday morning, when the ceremony of dedicating the Douglas Memorial Chapel was performed by Bishop White This portion of the cathedral has recently been completed and furnished, chief amongst the gifts, perhaps, being a beautiful window paid for by natives of the Torres Straits islands, reproducing the features of the late Hon. John Douglas in the figure of St. John in his old age at Patmos. The altar was given by the Masonic Lodge Wyben, the altar cross by Lodge Torres Straits, and the prayer desk by the North Queensland Scottish Grand Lodge. State public servants locally gave the lectern, and private donors gave the credence table, alter desk, and vases, the credence table being made from the wood of the wheel case of the ill-fated steamer Quetta. There was a full Masonic representation, all members wearing regalia, while some 80 natives from various islands in the Straits were present.

Bishop White, taking his text from Proverbs x 7, "The memory of the just is blessed," preached an eloquent and touching discourse, recalling to memory the fine characteristics of the Hon. John Douglas, and concluding by a few sentences specially addressed to the island natives who had come in to do honour to the memory of the man they loved and honoured as a father. "I know, said the Bishop, "he would have been very glad to think you would all be able to come to this church and see his face in the beautiful window which has been bought with your money. If he could speak to you now he would say, 'Do what I always told you to do.' He urged them to be honest and hard-working, not careless or lazy, and to keep away from drink, respect the law, and train their children to be good men and women. The "Te Deum" was sung, and one of the most striking ceremonies ever seen here was concluded. Amongst the ornaments on the wall of the new chapel was the last Union Jack that was flown at the fort before it was superseded by the Commonwealth flag.