- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - pre-Federation
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 1997 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
It all began with the monograph of an occasional paper delivered to the Naval Historical Society of Australia, Western Australia Chapter, by Lieutenant Commander G. L. W. Vickridge RFD RANR on 20th October, 1993.
The Society published the monograph and included in it a photograph of the gravesite in St. Leonards Cemetery, Sydney. As depicted, the forlorn state of the grave left much to be desired.
The Society’s committee felt that something should be done; naval honour demanded that both the grave site and naval reputation should be restored. The North Sydney Council’s Heritage committee – responsible for the upgraded cemetery now renamed St. Leonards Rest Park – was delighted with our interest and assistance, financial and otherwise.
Our combined efforts resulted in a highly satisfactorily refurbished memorial. Original stone, granite and fittings were used if still available, otherwise replaced by copies. No attempt was made to clean back the stonework as this would have altered the character of the site and made it stand out from the general atmosphere of the Rest Park. Two plaques, one a copy of the original inscription which had been badly worn and the other recording the renovation and re-dedication, were added.
The Service of Re-dedication was conducted by Principal Chaplain the Rev. Dr. Clayton M.A. RAN, and took place on 17 May, 1997. It was attended by the Mayor of North Sydney, Councillor Genia McCaffery and members of her staff; Commodore Kim Pitt representing the Flag Officer Naval Support Command; the Captains for “Waterhen” and “Penguin”, the President, Vice-Presidents and many members of the Society and their wives and friends. We were delighted to welcome descendants of the Goodenough family, and in all the gathering totalled some 75 persons – a far cry from those who attended Commodore Goodenough’s funeral on 14th August, 1875 “…the Governor of New South Wales, the crews of H.M. Ships Pearl, Sappho and Renard, a large number of volunteers and several thousands of the citizens of Sydney ….”
Colour and atmosphere were added by a catafalque party of the Australian Colonial Marine Enactments superbly drilled and turned out in early 19th century uniforms- an officer, sergeant, drummer and six men.
The Society and the North Sydney Council are grateful for the contribution from the Canterbury-Bankstown sub-section of the Naval Association of Australia and to HMAS Waterhen whose catering staff provided an abundant morning tea.