Vale – Monsignor Eugene Harley

Rest in Peace: 240213 Lieutenant Colonel The Reverend Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley OAM Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department.

Sad news of the passing of Monsignor Eugene Harley who died peacefully in bed on ANZAC Day.
His funeral will take place at 11.00 am on Friday 5 May 2017 in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 23 Cardinal Street, Mosman NSW 2088. The Church Telephone Number is 02 8969 3200.
Eugene was Parish Priest of this Church for 18 Years. The current Parish Priest Father Phillip Linder and Eugene’s nephew Dennis were with Eugene when he died in hospital at 7.00 pm and how appropriately on ANZAC Day.

Principal Chaplain (Catholic) Eugene Joseph Harley (Rtd) served as Chaplain Class 4 and Chaplain Class 3 Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department, Malaysia 1961 (2 RAR), Borneo 1965 (3 RAR) and South Vietnam 1967.

He served 27 years in the Australian Defence Force, including 7 years with 2 RAR. He served in Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. In the latter period of his service he was appointed Principal Catholic Chaplain of the Army.

Eugene has been involved with the 2 RAR Association since its early days and “has always been considered to be our Padre.”

At the 2014 AGM a Motion to Appoint Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley as 2RAR Association Padre was passed.

He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day 2015 Honours List for his services to the Catholic Church and the Mosman NSW community.

In 2015 he was presented the 2 RAR Association Silver Soldier Award in recognition of his dedication and sustained contribution to 2 RAR and the Association over a period of five decades.

There is no doubt that Fr Eugene has enriched the lives of countless individuals and families who would all be proud to call Fr Eugene a friend.

Homeward Bound

I saw the shooting star burning so bright

Falling, falling, fading and soon from sight

So distant and yet so near

In its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear

Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear

No longer a mortal in life’s short race

A contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space

This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell

Leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell

A poem by George Mansford



  1. John George says

    A wonderful, caring man; an outstanding Soldier-Priest loved and admired by all who knew him; a confidant who understood the Diggers and empathised with their needs and aspirations; one who brought God to all without fuss; and, above all, a good bloke. Father Eugene was one of us and all who knew him will miss him greatly. His Maker has called him home to continue his outstanding work behind the ecenes.
    Rest in peace Father Eugene.

  2. Ben Morris says

    I have known Eugene since 1964 when I met him while he was recovering from ankle injuries. He fell out of the officer’s mess window whilst watching the sun come up.

    One of the diggers I served with in Vietnam made this comment about Eugene in an email to me this morning, he said the following;

    He was a wonderful fellow, I first met him as a 15 year old Army Apprentice in 1963 and later on in quite a few other places.
    While I was not of his faith he was always up for a chat and a laugh and I think he was one of the great chaplains of the Aust Army.
    He always gave me a good tip from time to time and while I’m not a heavy gambler I made a few bob.
    He will be missed.

    RIP Eugene.


  3. Karen Riddell says

    So beautiful the poem so Fr Eugene our wonderful friend rest in peace god bless you Karen and Glen Riddell

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