It was Captain George Vancouver who navigated into this southern water way in 1791 (now named King George Sound) which is so similar in many ways to the vast waterways of Vancouver, Canada. In Albany there are any of number of Streets, Avenues, Crescents, Places, Roads … all named Vancouver!
Ships carrying the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later known collectively as ANZACs) to Europe to join World War I gathered at Albany in October 1914. They departed in convoy on 1st November 1914. In Australia and New Zealand, Anzac Day commemoration features solemn "Dawn Services", a tradition started in Albany, Western Australia on 25 April 1923.
In WWII it was to Albany from Freemantle in 1942 that the US Fleet Command sent the US Submarine fleet which afforded more protection. At the Albany Fort Museum this heroic time is commemorated as a number of US submarines 'are still on patrol' having been sunk by the Japanese. US submariners visit Albany annually for a memorial service.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson and his wife Delma have just returned from a Country Town Tour which included Albany with a luncheon, a prison ministry visit and a men's fellowship meeting at the Troode Street Christian Family Church.
While in Albany they discovered a number of interesting aspects of Christian work. Many of the churches are richly blessed with large congregations who are not only enthusiastic about their worship and devotions, but have significant social services' participation. There are retirement villages on the one hand, and for those down on their luck, soup kitchens and meals for the homeless.
There are two Reformed churches with congregations around the 500 mark, a Baptist church about the same and numerous Pentecostal congregations with similar numbers. These churches are bursting at the seams with many young people wanting to serve the Lord and go into full time ministry.
Mark Tronson says he met one young man full of vigour for the Lord who works part time and is his church's youth ministry leader and is now serving the church in this capacity three days week. He's looking to full time ministry.
This story is being repeated in the various enlivened churches in Albany where young people are searching for service in the Lord's vineyard.
The Catholic church on the other hand, has a huge congregation of about 800 who regularly attend Mass who had a very busy Priest from Tanzania and now two Philippini Priests, which illustrates the other end of the spectrum, a Denomination struggling to find home grown clergy.
At the Troode Street Christian Family Church 54 men attended their men's fellowship night. Even large Sydney churches have trouble getting 54 men out at night after busy days in the office or in the Trades. Mark Tronson noted that their pastor Norm Baty has a very careful pastoral passion for these men, many of them in their twenties and thirties.
A careful analysis illustrated that around 75% of Albany's population had some contact with a local congregation through direct participation to family connections for pastoral care.
Should Col Stringer be right in his theology, that a great blessing swept across Australia (continues to do so) in that the Light Horse freed Jerusalem in 1917 which eventually led to the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, it might be noted that the Light Horse left from Albany on 1st November 1914.