Padre White Lookout shapes up

Article image - Padre White Lookout shapes up City of Albany Mayor, Councillor Dennis Wellington (r) and Great Southern Development Commission Deputy Chairman, Kim Barrow inspect the work being carried out on the Padre White Lookout on Mt Clarence. The City of Albany in Western Australia has announced that the Padre White Lookout at the summit of Mt Clarence should be ready for public use by ANZAC Day this year.

The lookout is the centrepiece of the $5.8 million Mt Clarence Infrastructure Upgrade project, and will provide access to spectacular views from a platform that is designed to ‘float’ over the ground and bond with the landscape.

The Mt Clarence Infrastructure Upgrade project is sweeping in its scope and, in addition to the reconstruction of the Padre White Lookout, includes the major restoration and upgrade of the area’s entry points; the Avenue of Honour, the Apex Lookout, Memorial Place, the approach steps, the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial and car park, and the car park at the base of Apex Drive.

The work also includes the realignment and resurfacing of pathways and roads, landscape planting, electrical works, new signage and interpretation elements, and new seating and bins.

The significance of the completion of the lookout by ANZAC Day is reflected in the history and the subsequent naming of the site.

According to local history, on February 24th 1918, Padre Ernest White conducted a Requiem Mass at St John’s Anglican Church for those Australian soldiers who had died during the ongoing World War 1. It is then reported that Padre White and several parishioners climbed to the summit of Mt Clarence, which overlooks King George Sound, where the troopships had gathered prior to sailing to Egypt.

In 1929, after returning from the War, Padre White was appointed Rector of St John’s, and began an ongoing ANZAC Day tradition of a dawn Eucharist at St John’s followed by a pilgrimage to Mt Clarence and the casting of a wreath into the Sound.

City of Albany Mayor, Councillor Dennis Wellington, paid tribute to the local contractors who are working with the City of Albany, which is managing the project, and the project’s designer, AECOM.

“It’s fitting that such an important project for Albany is using the local skills and expertise of people like Robinson Build-Tech, which is famous for its engineering work in creating the Castle Rock Lookout [at Porongurup National Park],” said Cr Wellington.

“I must also mention the good work put in by H+H Architects, who are the superintendent for the project, and all of the local suppliers and sub-contractors who are involved.”

Cr Wellington also acknowledged the encouragement and financial support given to the project by the Great Southern Development Commission.