Added on 25/09/2013
‘A cleric of patent holiness, a scholar and a family man’ was how the former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, the Very Revd Tom Salmon, was remembered at his memorial service in the cathedral yesterday evening (25 September 2013). Dean Salmon died in July in his 101st year.
The Choral Evensong was led by the Dean, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne and attended by the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson and the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Very Revd Victor Stacey, as well as members of Dean Salmon’s family. It was sung by the Cathedral Choir.
Introducing the service, Dean Dunne said Dean Salmon gave of his all for the worship and witness of the cathedral and the life of the dioceses.
The sermon was given by Canon Adrian Empey who said it was Dean Salmon’s patent holiness that impressed all who met him. Coming from a family of astonishing academic background, the former Dean, one of seven siblings, was educated at home in Dublin by a tutor and governess and was to become a scholar and master of linguistics – reading the Scriptures in Hebrew and Greek. ‘It was the Scriptures continually read, learned and inwardly digested that were the source of Tom’s spirituality and made him a great teacher,’ Canon Empey stated.
However, he was also a family man and Canon Empey recalled Dean Salmon’s 100th birthday party which was attended by five generations of his family. He paid tribute to his late sister Gertrude who was his companion and cared for him and to his niece Iris who cared for him following Gertrude’s death.
Dean Salmon was ordained to the priesthood in 1938 and served curacies in Bangor, Belfast and Larne. Canon Empey said that while in Larne during the war he displayed his unflappable nature by escorting a terrified young woman home during an air raid and retaining his own composure. This skill could later be put to good use during vestry meetings, he said.
The Dean served as curate in Rathfarnham before becoming rector of Tullow and later Vicar of St Ann’s, Dawson Street. Canon Empey, who succeeded him in St Ann’s, said the former Dean was greatly admired there. However, he said that it was as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral that he came into his own.
‘He found the cathedral at a very low ebb,’ Canon Empey said adding that he saved the cathedral. He said he did not do this alone, but inspired others to help him. He also raised the profile of the cathedral in the city. Canon Empey said Dean Salmon had huge respect for all traditions and at a time of desperate sectarian violence and bigotry, he befriended the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Ryan.
The preacher said that in the context of the time, Dean Salmon and many of his contemporaries reflected all that was the best about the church they served.
Canon Empey concluded by praising the staff of the Brabazon for the care they lavished on Dean Salmon in spite of the ravages of age.
Pictured above: Members of Dean Tom Salmon’s family, including his niece Iris Sherwood, following the memorial service for the former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. Also pictured at the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, the Dean of the cathedral, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne and Canon Adrian Empey.
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