A photographic album found recently in a basement in a Jesuit residence, Dublin, Ireland, highlights the connections between Jesuits in Ireland and Australia. Irish Jesuits arrived in Australia in 1865 and Australia became a mission of the Irish Province until 1950. This album by Sidney Riley Studios, Queen Street, Brisbane, Australia contains views of the interior and exterior of St. Ignatius’ Church, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia. St. Ignatius’ Church/School, was opened by Dr James Duhig, Archbishop of Brisbane, 18 May 1930. The Jesuit in the image is either Fr. Richard Murphy SJ or Robert Little SJ.
ANZAC day remembers all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Thirty-two Jesuits of the Irish Province served as chaplains during World War One. Six of these served with Australian forces. Fr. Edward Sydes SJ who was born off the coast of Australia on the British ship ‘Norman Morrison’, died in the Australian Section, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 14 November 1918 from illness sustained as a chaplain. Frs. Michael Colman (Mayo), William Gwynn (Cork), Joseph Hearn (Mayo) and Patrick Tighe (Dublin), all worked in Australia prior to joining the AIF. Fr. Michael Bergin SJ (Tipperary) not only never set foot in Australia but was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to have died as a result of enemy action.
As a footnote, Fr. Bernard Page SJ who arrived in Australia at the age of seven, served with the Cavalry Field Ambulance during the war.