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John FlynnPrint Page Print this page

31-August-2014
31-August-2014

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Graeme Saunders

Grave commemorates pioneer churchman and founder of the Flying Doctor Service, the Reverend John Flynn. A granite monolith was placed over the grave in 1953. 

In 1912 Flynn was commissioned to undertake a survey of the needs of both the Aboriginal people and European settlers of the Northern Territory. His detailed reports resulted in the creation by the Presbyterian Church of its Australian Inland Mission (AIM), of which Flynn was appointed Superintendent. The Mission, which commenced operation with one nursing hostel, a nursing sister and a padre, had by 1926, under Flynn`s leadership, become a network of ten strategically placed nursing hostels operating closely with patrol padres.

Keenly aware of the isolation of the people of inland Australia, he believed that a `mantle of safety` could be created for the isolated communities of Northern Australia only with the establishment of an aerial medical service and the introduction of radio communications. Despite many setbacks and considerable opposition, Flynn`s vision became a reality on the 17th May 1928 when the first flying doctor flew from Cloncurry to Julia Creek to answer the first call received by the AIM Aerial Medical Service.

Four cranes on Wednesday afternoon converged at the spot where the ashes of Dr. John Flynn —Flynn of the Inland — are buried, and lifted into position over his grave a huge natural granite monolith. Weighing eight tons, the monolith was carted 260 miles. It has been erected on a quartzite base on a hillock beside the Hermannsburg road in the shade of Mount Gillen.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 14th August 1953.

The recent laying of the foundation stone of the Flynn Memorial Church at Alice Springs by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) prompts the Rev. R. C. Racklyeft to record a few details of the design of the memorial erected over the grave of Dr. Flynn at Mount Gillim, Alice Springs.  The general idea of the design of the cairn, which is erected over the remains of the Rev John Flynn D.D., D.B.E., first superintendent and founder of the Australian Inland Mission and the Flying Doctor Service was taken from the designs used in the building of obelisks and memorials in the Victor Harbour and Encounter Bay areas. The base of the Flynn Memorial cairn is stone, and it is surrounded by a granite boulder of about eight ton weight. This boulder was one of the famous Devil's Marbles, known to most Territorian travellers. The enormous rock was transported from Tennant Creek and had to be lifted into position by four cranes. It is worth mentioning here that most of the designs of the various memorials erected in this district were the work of local architect, Mr. Roy Milton.
Victor Harbour Times (SA), 17 September 1954.

Location

Address:Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, 0870
State:NT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.697778
Long: 133.819167
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Religion
Link: http://adb.anu.edu.au/

Dedication

Front Inscription

Beneath This Stone Rests The Ashes Of
       `FLYNN OF THE INLAND' 
                 1880-1951

The Very Reverend John Flynn OBE DD
First Superintendent (1912-51)
Of the Australian Inland Mission

Founder of the Flying Doctor Service

          Moderator General
Of The Presbyterian Church (1939-42)

`He Brought Gladness And Rejoicing
To The Wilderness And The Solitary Places`

Back Inscription

     The Ashes Of
Mrs. Jean Blanch Flynn
           1894 - 1976
Were Laid To Rest In This Place 
Beside Those Of Her Husband
Rev. Dr. John Flynn, On 14th November 1976.

She Was The Esteemed Helpmate And
Encourager Of Flynn Of The Inland
And His Fellow Workers In Their
  Battle For A Brighter Bush

Source: MA, ADB
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