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Norman Thomas Gilroy




1945 The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Norman GILROY, became Australia's first native born Cardinal GILROY left school at 13 years of age to work as a messenger boy. Norman Thomas GILROY was the eldest of six children.

After serving in the First World War he entered the priesthood. Later he went to Rome, returning with a doctorate in Divinity. He became Bishop of Port Augusta in 1934, Archbishop of Sydney in 1940, Australia's first Cardinal in 1945, and, in 1969, the first Cardinal to be knighted since the Reformation. GILROY is best remembered for his advocacy of state funding for non-government schools and his involvement with the ecumenical movement.

One of his proudest achievements was arranging the first papal visit to Australia in 1971, just prior to his retirement.

GILROY'S career was not without controversy. He was conservative and pragmatic and firmly believed that the church should not become directly involved in politics. This brought him into conflict with Archbishop Mannix in Melbourne and B A Santamaria's anti-communist group, the Movement. At GILROY'S funeral in 1977, the then leader of the opposition, Gough Whitlam, described him as a 'Prince who never forgot his Priesthood'.

The Honour of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) was conferred by Queen Elizabeth in 1969.

Australia must always be grateful and remember the sons and daughters of Ireland who in the earlier years were sent or migrated to Australia to helped to build our Australia into the land it is today. Their descendants are the backbone of this fine nation.

Information on this family available from Ronnie Bates http://www.southwest.com.au/~ronnie/

Gilroy Family
Norman Thomas Gilroy Biography


Contributed by Ronnie Bates

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