Beyond the glass

There has been timely comment on memorials to the fallen with the 90th anniversary, on November 11, of the signing of the Armistice ending World War One. The comment has relevance to Holy Trinity Church.

Adrian Franklin, of ABC Television's popular Friday night Collectors programme, writing in his weekly Mercury column on September 23, drew attention to stained-glass memorial windows, particularly the work of artist Mervyn Napier Waller for the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

While the public can admire these and war memoral windows around Tasmania, there is, sadly, one exception - people are no longer able to view the magnificent World War One window in Holy Trinity. Closure of the church has denied the public this.

Photos of the window - honouring the 101 parishioners who died serving their country in the war - feature on this website. Preservation of this particular memorial is a key part of the Holy Trinity Support Group's campaign to save the church, for the window is not only a commanding presence in the church interior but also an essential element of Holy Trinity's long and rich history.

And Lest We Forget - it should remain as a permanent commemoration to the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for Australia.

The window was the superb creative design of artist and art educator Lucien Dechaineux. Its style was controversial when installed in the 1920s, yet there was also perceptive recognition of its significance.

Consider the forward-looking views of the church's fifth rector, Archdeacon Henry Brune Atkinson (1916-1924). It was during his tenure that the memorial went in during 1922 . . .

"And we were moved by the devotion of those who had gone from their homes to Gallipoli and France, and we took out the old east window and put a new one in its place.

"How that window was criticised! One day, not the hundredth anniversary (he was writing on the occasion of the Trinity centenary, 1833-1933), perhaps the five hundredth, people will take note of that window. It will be 'Early Australian Art' in window making, and I hope that somehow or other the genius of Lucien Dechaineux will be associated with that glorious window."

It was striking in its vision, with the Mercury of the time summarising when the window was originally revealed: "The whole conception is most beautiful and original, and impressions are left which would scarcely be conveyed by a more conventional design."

(That design is explained in our Church Tour, plus there are Dechaineux articles both in our News and People and Events sections.)

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