The Most Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane's tribute to the Rt Revd David Hand
We join with our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea in mourning the death of the Rt Revd Sir David Hand and we join them in celebrating his remarkable contribution to the people of Papua New Guinea, both within the Anglican Church, and widely in the community.
Bishop David Hand was born in Clermont in central Queensland, where his father was parish priest from 1912 to 1920. The family returned to England, and he was educated at Oxford. He heard the call of Bishop Philip Strong, Bishop of New Guinea, for men to rebuild the church after the ravages of the Second World War. He became an Assistant Bishop of that diocese in 1950, at the age of 32 - the youngest bishop in the Anglican Communion at the time.
Bishop Hand succeeded Philip Strong as Bishop of New Guinea in 1963. When the diocese ceased to be part of the Church of England in Australia and was divided into five diocesan units, he became the first Archbishop of the Church in Papua New Guinea, with his See in Pt Moresby.
We celebrate Bishop David Hand's total commitment to his people and his church. He mastered many of the local languages, and lived simply in the midst of his people. He lost many of his best friends in the eruption of Mount Lamington in the Oro province, and committed himself to the task of reconstruction -- he was made a chief of the Orokaiva tribe in that province. His work in opening up the Highlands is legendary.
There is to be a State Funeral at St Mary's Church Geraho, a suburb of Port Moresby, and which is a church that he founded. This is to be held on Tuesday 18 April, and is to be followed with a Requiem and the interment at the Cathedral of the Resurrection, Popondetta, on Thursday 20 April.
I am pleased that Bishop Bevan Meredith can represent me, both as Archbishop and as Primate, at the obsequies in Papua New Guinea. We commit our brother Geoffrey David Hand into the care of the God whom he loved, worshipped and served, praying that he will rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.
The Most Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall,
Archbishop of Brisbane