Governor’s Informal Style Wins Hearts in Dorrigo

             Worshippers at Dorrigo Anglican Church, yesterdaymorning, received a rare surprise to find NSW Governor, GeneralDavid Hurley and wife, Linda, sitting quietly in a back seat.

            It was the beginning of an official visit to the town which left locals convinced Australia’s Governor General-elect and Mrs Hurley will prove popular in the extreme.

            The couple were guests of honour at Centenary celebrations for Dorrigo Sub Branch of the RSL.

            Their informal and caring approach won hearts wherever they went.

            General and Mrs Hurley arrived early for the Sub Branch celebrations and, unexpectedly, dropped into St Stephens part way through the service.

            It was only when worshippers came forward for communion they became aware of their special visitors.

            (Even then, some members of the congregation were unsure who the visitors were!)

            The Hurleys remained for morning tea and spoke with every parishioner before being received at a luncheon in Dorrigo RSL Club.

            Guests at the centenary lunch included NSW Senator, Jim Molan, himself a retired Army General and former “boss” of General Hurley, and several senior members of the RSL, NSW.

            Sub Branch members learned that Dorrigo’s centenary will be the only for General Hurley before he leaves to take up his next role as Australian Governor-General later this year.

            He said, for him, Dorrigo represented all Sub Branches in the state that will celebrate centenaries in 2019.

            General Hurley acknowledged the men and women from the Dorrigo Plateau who served in both world wars and the 10 per cent of volunteers who lost their lives.

            He said soil from 1,771 areas of NSW, representing towns, suburbs, villages and rural areas had now been deposited at the War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney.

            Each represented volunteers for Australian armed services.

            “The differing soil colours in these deposits remind us how different we are,” he said.

            “Four words describe Australians who served their country in war: sacrifice, courage, endurance and mateship.

            “How do we interpret these four words?

            “When Australian (service personnel) are given a job to do, they do their very best.

            “They see the job through to the end.

            “And they look after their mates; not just on active service but, also, when they come home.

            “To look after our mates is critical.”

            The luncheon ended with a signature tradition initiated by Linda Hurley. She first sang and then led the guests in the song You Are My Sunshine.

            Guests were invited to sing the words directly to those nearest to them as mark of acceptance and affection.

            Linda Hurley is a former Pastoral Carer at the Canberra Hospital and Hospice.     

            On December 16, 2018 Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that General Hurley will become the next Governor-General of Australia beginning in June 2019.