The PPDRDG Department of
Inalienable Rights Endowed by Our Creator Presents:
'The Chapel In The Palms'
Wherein we document the early development of
Diego Garcia's House of Worship.
Many thanks to Chaplain Larry Sellers, Commander, USN, Retired, first Chaplain on Diego Garcia, for these photographs documenting his service to the Souls of America's best on the far side of the globe!
This picture shows the yardarms at the 1971 Quarterdeck. Note the placement of the Divine Services Pennant above the U.S. Flag. This is the only flag ever flown above Old Glory - note how even the White Ensign of the Royal Navy is lowered to match.
Below: Here's Larry in his first "office" - inside a GP Medium Tent! Things were primitive indeed in the days before the SEAHUTS!
Above: The first "Chapel In The Palms", named after the famed "Chapel in the Pines" at NMCB 40's home port of Davis, Rhode Island.
Below: In those first days, space was at a premium - in the evenings, the CITP's seating served as the far reaches of the "Base Theater"!
Above: Chaplain Sellers conducting Divine Services in the first Chapel in the Palms.
Below: The first indoor CITP, combined with the Chaplain's offices.
Next photo: Services were cramped in the early days...
A real Church was needed, and the SEABEES proceeded to build it! Above, setting the blocks upon which the floor joists were set.
Below, a sequence showing the construction sequence.
From start to finish, construction of the first dedicated Chapel in the Palms took less than a week to complete!
Above: Roger Hickey signing during one of the very first services at the finished Chapel.
Below: More of Roger and the Chapel Duet rehearsing for Sunday Service.
Above: The Chapel Duet.
Below: AFRTS preps for a live broadcast from the Chapel. Anybody know any of these guys?
Below - from 1972. The Chapel did not have a baptismal font, so baptisms were performed in the ocean. Most people preferred it that way!
Below, new Christians!
Roger sent in 138 photos of his
tour there in 1972. Here's where you can see
If anyone has any more photographs or information about the Chapel in the Palms, please send it to me for inclusion on this page!
'The Chapel In The Palms'
40 Years Later - 2011
Thanks to Dr. Charles Sheppard for these photos!
Some of the palms have been replaced by full-grown hardwoods planted by those early Naval pioneers, and the grandsons and daughters of some of those early SEABEEs have already served on the island their Grandfathers built from scratch to serve the causes of freedom and liberty, but the purpose and sanctity of the Chapel remain unchanged.
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This, and everything else I write and every photo I produce is copyrighted by Ted A. Morris, Jr.