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The Very Reverend Exarch Nicholas Shehadie was the first priest of the Antiochian Orthodox parishes in Australia between 1913 and 1934.
Born in the 1860s, Fr Nicholas Shehadie was sent in 1913 to Australia as Exarch to determine the extent of the problem and to find possible solutions. However, while this was intended to be temporary, World War I meant that Father Nicholas could not return to Lebanon where his family was; hence, his stay became permanent. He realised the need for a church for the Antiochian Orthodox, and determined to built it, with the Divine Liturgy being held in parishioners' homes until that time.
The State Government leased a block of land to the Church on the corner of Walker and Redfern Sts, and the first Antiochian Orthodox church was built and placed under the patronage of St George. This church is now the cathedral.
Fr Nicholas sent for his family over a number of years, and the family came in stages: His sons George and Albert, with his daughter Mary arrived first, followed by John and Pauline (16yo and twins) in 1922, and then fully reunited with the arrival of his wife Alexandra, his son Elias, and his son Michael's family - wife Hannah, and baby girls Alexandra and Paulette.
In 1934, Exarch Nicholas Shehadie reposed, in his early 70s.
|Exarch of Australia (Church of Antioch)
Fr Malatius Hussney