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- June 2022 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The Reverend Arthur Rix and ship launching ceremonies.
The March 2022 edition of the NHR contained a story I Name this Ship which states that the Rev. Arthur Rix officiated at the launching ceremonies of 62 ships with the inference being these were all naval ships. One of our members John Jeremy who was a previous Chief Executive of Cockatoo Island Dockyard has made the following observations.
Naval ships built in Sydney 1927 to 1952 which would have had a launching ceremony:
Cockatoo Dockyard: Albatross, Yarra, Swan, Kookaburra, Parramatta, Warrego, Koala, Arunta, Warramunga, Kangaroo, Bathurst, Bataan, Goulburn, Bendigo, Karangi, Wollongong, Cessnock, Madras, Bengal, Glenelg, Barcoo, Barwon, Tobruk, Voyager. Total: 24
Morts Dock: Armidale, Burnie, Colac, Deloraine, Dubbo, Inverell, Latrobe, Lithgow, Lismore, Mildura, Warrnambool, Wagga, Bombay, Punjab, Gascoyne, Hawkesbury, Lachlan, Macquarie. Total: 18
Poole & Steel: Cootamundra, Cowra, Geraldton, Junee, Kapunda, Katoomba, Wallaroo Total: 7
Total Naval Ships: 49.
It is possible that Mr Rix also officiated at the launching of the following vessels from Cockatoo Dockyard in the same period: Cape Otway, Warang, Vigilant, Waree, River Clarence, River Hunter, Wonga, Yelta. Total: 6
Other ships built by Morts Dock, which might have had Mr Rix officiating, are: Captain Cook, Army/RAN tugs Freda(AT2382), Emu (DT931), and Bronzewing (DT932), floating dock AFD 1002. Total: 4
And at Poole & Steel: RAN tug Mollymawk (DT933). Total:
Grand Total: 62
By Editor – This is an excellent summary and it is interesting to note that this equates to the number 62 which is exactly what the original 1948 Navy magazine article states:
Within these yards, and with the ships that they have come from them, the Church of St. John’s and its Rector- the Reverend Arthur George Rix – have a long and enduring fellowship. Many fine vessels were built by Cockatoo Dockyard, Mort’s Dock, and Poole and Steele during the war, and Mr Rix was appointed by the Naval Board to conduct the Religious Service at every launching from each of these three yards. In the carrying out of this duty, Mr. Rix and the Choir of St. John’s Church have officiated at the launching of no fewer than 62 vessels.
The above can be read in two ways: that all these vessels were naval vessels, or they were naval and commercial vessels. I think it has now been neatly established that the latter was the case.
We stand corrected and John has been thanked for his comments.