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Christ Church flower festival more than a fundraiser

CHRIST Church Cathedral is promoting next month’s annual flower festival as more than a fundraising event.
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The Very Reverend Stephen Williams in the cathedral. Picture: Peter Stoop

In announcing this year’s program, the Dean of Newcastle, Stephen Williams, said the centenary of Anzac added a poignant note, given the many historic associations that Christ Church had with the Great War.

‘‘This year’s festival will fill the cathedral with themed floral tributes to our servicemen and women across the past 100years,’’ Father Williams said.

The festival runs from Friday, September 4 until Monday, September 7, with an official opening being held on the evening of Thursday, September 3.

Father Williams said the Governor of NSW, David Hurley, would open the festival on the Thursday night, with guests including Williamtown RAAF commander Air Commodore Steve Roberton.

While the flowers would be the headline attraction, Father Williams said the open cathedral also gave people an opportunity to view some of the lesser-known parts of the building, including the Warrior’s Chapel and the associated collection of military treasures.

The Warrior’s Chapel, also known as the St Michael Chapel, dates from 1924.

At its southern end, Father Williams pointed out a shrine known as the Forster Monument, a memorial ‘‘to the fallen’’ that was modelled on a young Alfred Henry Forster, who died in 1919.

His father, Sir Henry William Forster, was Australian governor-general from 1920 to 1925.

He lost his two sons to the war and Father Williams said the Warrior’s Chapel was regarded as the oldest war memorial in Australia.

Father Williams said the festival would help raise funds for the maintenance of the cathedral, which was a constant effort.

Tickets were $10 for adults and $5 for children with an $8 concession price.

The displayed arrangements would be sold through a silent auction that would finish on the Monday.

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