Reverend John FlynnPrint Page Print this page

(Diane Watson)
(Diane Watson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Russell Byers / John Edwards Collection

The monument commemorates pioneer churchmen and founder of the Flying Doctor Service, Reverend John Flynn ( 1880 - 1951). It was completed in 1952 and officially unveiled in 1953.   Flynn was an Australian Presbyterian minister who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the world's first air ambulance.

Reverend Flynn was made the first superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission. As well as tending to matters spiritual, he quickly established the need for medical care for residents of the vast Australian outback, and established a number of bush hospitals.

While undoubtedly most famous for the organisation that became the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Flynn's work with the Mission extended well beyond it. As well as the nursing homes, Flynn instituted travelling ministries - ministers travelling vast distances on horseback through the inland. In 1939 Presbyterian Church of Australia elected Flynn to the role of Moderator-General.

The John Flynn memorial cairn in the form of a 20ft. stone obelisk has been erected at the junction of the north-south, east-west roads, 16 miles from Tennant's Creek, in honour of "Flynn of the Inland." The fitting site, in the heart of Flynn's beloved Inland, is destined to be come an historical landmark in the annals of outback Australia's development. Just completed by a local contractor, the cairn is an imposing structure of dark Territory stone with a white cement cross, on each of the triangular faces.

Near the base, a bronze plaque gives a brief outline of Flynn's work. The Rev. John Flynn, O.B.E., D.D., died on May 5 last year, after almost 40 years' spiritual and medical service to Inlanders. He founded the A.I.M., pioneered the Flying Doctor Service and popularised inland radio communication. A £500 fund, subscribed to by people all over Australia, erected the memorial cairn to perpetuate his memory.
Queensland Country Life (Qld), 11 December 1952.

SYDNEY.— The Governor-General (Sir William Slim) will unveil the John Flynn Commemorative Cairn at Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, on Thursday, August 27. The cairn is at the intersection of the north-south and east-west roads, 13 miles from Tennant Creek, and will bear a plaque commemorating the Very Rev. John Flynn of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, known as "Flynn of the Inland." 
Newcastle Sun (NSW),  20 August 1953.



Address:Stuart Highway, John Flynn Historical Reserve, Three Ways, 0862
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -19.434862
Long: 134.207316
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 27th August, 1953
Front Inscription

       "Flynn Of The Inland"
The Very Rev. JOHN FLYNN O.B.E. D.D.
Of The Presbyterian Church Of Australia
            1880 - 1951
His Vision Encompassed The Continent.
He Established The Australian Inland Mission
And Founded The Flying Doctor Service.
He Brought Lonely Places A Spiritual Ministry
And Spread A Mantle Of Safety Over Them
By Medicine, Aviation And Radio.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au