This Sunday Morning we have a double welcome in St Andrew’s Cathedral. We welcome members of the Sir David Martin Foundation and we welcome our new Music Director Ross Cobb.
Sir David Martin was the Governor of New South Wales (1989-1990) when he tragically succumbed to cancer at the age of 57.
As a career officer in the Royal Australian Navy, rising from cadet midshipman to Rear Admiral, Sir David gave many years of distinguished service to our nation.
As Governor of our State he responded to the problems of our society by calling the first Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. On that occasion he said:
“I believe we can clean up this society of ours
If each of us really wants to,
If we all lift our game,
If we work together,
If we have the strength.
But we’ll need some extra strength from beyond ourselves,
And we won’t get that unless we ask it.
Who do we ask? Try asking God
How do we ask? Try praying.”
Throughout his life Sir David sought to help young people. As Governor he was particularly concerned about homeless youth who had nobody to care for them. It was this concern that lead to the creation of the Foundation, which was considered by Sir David as the first step towards reaching his dream of “an Australian community where children can grow up with hope and understanding”.
Always a man of service and duty, as he lay dying in hospital, he awakened from his sleep and asked, “What are we supposed to be doing now?” His son-in-law replied, “Resting”. Sir David responded: “Well—let’s get on with it then.” And then he died.
Sir David had expected to play an active role in the Foundation, not only to get it going but also to keep it going. Instead, sadly he died just a few days after setting it up. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of York, officially launched the Sir David Martin Foundation at Sydney’s Parliament House 3 months after Sir David’s death in November 1990. The work that Sir David had envisaged to help homeless youth continues through the foundation that bears his name.
Ross and Georgie Cobb have made a considerable sacrifice in leaving their native England to serve us here at the Cathedral. After training in London and serving a church there, Ross gave distinguished leadership to the music at Christ Church, Clifton in Bristol. His work at Clifton, apart from setting up several music groups, included the reconstruction of both the organ and the sound system.
Ross’ first love is of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is concerned to use the many gifts that God has given him to serve the advancement of the gospel and the building of the Church of Christ. His second love is his wife Georgie whom he married in 2004. Georgie has worked as a schoolteacher in Bristol and was an active member of Christ Church Clifton.
Ross is a trained and experienced organist and choirmaster, but the Chapter intentionally sought a Music Director. They wished to capitalise on the opportunity of the Cathedral to become a centre for a wide diversity of quality Christian music. Ross’ wide experience and competency in Christian music gives us great joy in his appointment and the expectation of many years of fruitful fellowship in the ministry of the gospel.
The arrival of our first Music Director is an exciting moment in the developing history of St Andrew’s Cathedral.