A replica of the Altar Stone used to celebrate the first Catholic mass in Australia was unveiled by Randwick City Mayor Councillor Tony Bowen at the Laperouse Museum today. The Altar Stone was blessed by Franciscan Father Paul Ghanem. This was followed by lunch sponsored by Randwick City Council and provided by the Friends of the Laperouse Museum.
The Altar Stone was commissioned by Randwick City Council and will be on permanent loan to the Friends of Laperouse Museum to be exhibited at the Museum. (more…)


The Annual Receveur Mass, hosted by St Andrews, Malabar, was celebrated today with over 250 in attendance.  Seating was available in a marque sponsored by Randwick City Council.  A Sausage Sizzle was provided by the Lions Club and drinks from  Friends of the Laperouse Museum.

The Mayor Councillor Scott Nash and the local state MP, the Hon. Michael Daley each laid wreaths on the tomb.

Fr. Chris Shorrock from Melbourne officiated.  Fr Chris is a member of the General Custody of Our Lady Help of Christians, Australia of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.  In 1987 he gained a Bachelor of Theology (B.Theol.), from the Melbourne College of Divinity and in 1989 he completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) at the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure, Rome. In 2008 he received his Doctor of Theology (D.Theol.) from the Melbourne College of Divinity.  Publications : 1985 – Life of St. Joseph of Cupertino, Australian Catholic Truth Society (32pp) 1992 – “Mary in the Writings of St. Francis of Assisi” – Franciscan Documentation (India) 1995 – 2007, Editor and contributor, The Little Troubadour, Quarterly Publication of Order of Friars Minor Conventual, Australia. 2007 to present: Lecturer in Franciscan Studies and Church History, Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, Australia.

Photos:  Top – Fr Shorrock on verandah; Mayor of Randwick Mr Scott Nash with (L) Mr Tony Gentile Secretary of the Friends of Laperouse Museum and (R) President Dr Bill Land; Friends Refreshments Table; Second Row: – Fr Jan and Musicians; Communion; Procession with Laperouse Monument in background; Third Row – Procession and Wreath Laying at Tomb; Bottom Row – Musicians at Gravesite.

Snapped today heritage consultant renovating the Receveur Tomb against the backdrop of the Loop renovations.

UPDATE:  July 19:

Receveur  Grave Conservation Works

 Funding:  Consulat Général de France en Australie, Sydney

 Conservators:  Lillico-Thomspon Conservation

 Commissioned by: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

To date a number of different paint colours have been uncovered.     Some of the original lettering (c. 1827) has been revealed.  The lettering was filled in when the new bronze cross was erected in 1930.   The original sandstone surface appears to be in a stable state. Further investigation will be required before a decision can be made on repainting or leaving the sandstone exposed.




A crowd of over 260  welcomed the Governor, Marie Bashir and her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie to the annual Receveur Mass today.

Photos L-R, Governor Maree Bashir with Ed Duyker, author of Père Receveur Franciscan, scientist and voyager with Lapérouse ;  Local MP Michael Daley taking the reading;   Communion;  and below(left) Procession; (middle) Graveside,  (right) Father Paul Ghanem with musicians, (far below) Laperouse Monument.

Ed Duyker’s booklet on Receveur was launched tonight at the Laperouse Museum.  Link to SBS Radio interview with Ed Duyker (in English, 21.2.2011)

Autographed copies of the booklet are available at $10.00 + $2.00 postage and handling.

(photos: Ed Duyker with Franciscan Fr. Paul Ghanem (top) and Snakeman of La Perouse, John Cann (bottom)

Père Receveur : Franciscan, Scientist and Voyager with Lapérouse.Engadine : Dharawal Publications.50 p. : ill ; 21.000 x 014.800 cm.
ISBN: 9780987072702ISBN: 0987072706 (Trade Paper) AUD 15.00 Retail Price (Publisher)

About the author :

Edward Duyker OAM, FAHA, is the eldest of eight children born in Melbourne to a Dutch father and a Mauritian mother in 1955. He graduated from La Trobe University in 1977 with
a BA (Hons.) and received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1981. He worked as an intelligence officer (South Asia/Middle East) with the Department of Defence in (more…)

The 2011 Anniversary Mass will be held at 11am, 20th February, at La Perouse.

All welcome to attend.  (Photo above:  Sam Hood, 1933)

Despite claims that the first Christian services were held in the new colony around Circular Quay on 3rd February(see photograph left) , it is much more likely that Receveur and Mongez would have held mass not long after landing on the 26th or 27th January 1788 (which was a Sunday).

 Father Pat Hurley was a great supporter of the Receveur legacy and was responsible for ensuring that the annual mass was celebrated from 1988 to 2004.  This profile of Father Pat was published in The Catholic Weekly, 26-2-10.