Monday, June 27, 2011


Before Jimmy Governor went to the gallows at Darlinghurst Gaol, he was regularly visited by the resident Church of England chaplain, Retta Dixon.
The gaol's place of worship was a chapel located inside a round building in the centre of the radiating residential and service 'arms' of the prison.
Its centrepiece was three leadlight windows depicting the New Testament story of the prodigal son who after confessing his wrongdoings and repenting was forgiven by his loving father.

The words written on an open scroll at the top of each window are:

I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentence.

Above the three windows is a painted white dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the words:

Glory to God in the highest.

Prisoners at the gaol attended church services in this circular building.
It originally had an extra floor which was used to segregate the prisoners on the basis of gender. The female prisoners were seated on one level and their male counterparts on the other.
The Prodigal Son with his Heavenly Father

While incacerated in a condemned man's cell, Jimmy had angrily complained that the chaplain was trying to 'push' him instead of 'leading' him to his Heavenly Father.
But his wife Ethel must have liked the chaplain because she gave her daughter who was born about six weeks after Jimmy's death her name: Thelma Violet Hazel Reta Governor.