Priest receives SCU honour

HE was a former Woodlawn student and teacher who devoted his life to God and healing wounds between Australia and Japan in the aftermath of war.

Today, Fr Paul Glynn, 82, will return to his home town to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy at the Southern Cross University graduations.

Fr Glynn, who now resides in the Hunter Valley, will also be the Occasional Speaker at the ceremony.

Japanese vice-consul Mr Isami Takada, representing the Consulate-General of Japan, will be attending the ceremony to acknowledge the reconciliation work by Fr Glynn.

Woodlawn College teacher Fr Lionel Marsden first inspired Fr Glynn and his brother, the late Fr Tony Glynn just after WWII, to become involved with Japanese and Australian reconciliation, when he returned to teaching after nearly four long years as a Japanese prisoner-of-war, including his time on the infamous Thai-Burma death railway.

Fr Glynn was so impressed by the speeches, he resolved to enter the priesthood and help Fr Marsden in his dream of healing the hatred between Australia and Japan.

In 1955, after Fr Glynn had completed his studies and had been ordained, he was given a chance to further his dream of joining Fr Marsden’s mission in Japan. He was posted to Tokyo for two years of language studies.

Fr Glynn’s reconciliation endeavours started with the promotion of the sister city relationship between Lismore and Yamata Takada, the first of its kind in Australia, and went on to establish a bilingual kindergarten in Yamata Takada.

He will add his honorary doctorate to international recognitions, including a rare award by the Japanese Government of the Order of the Rising Sun. He has also been awarded an OAM by the Australian Government.

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