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Manly Daily 1982 – Fr. Sobb’s Death

Narrabeen Priest Dies after 36 Years in Parish.

Father Amiel Joseph Sobb, parish priest of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Narrabeen, for the past 36 years has died at the age of 77.

Fr Sobb died in Vale Hospital after a heart attack.

Former St Patrick’s College, Manly, classmate of Fr Sobb, Sir James Cardinal Freeman, Archbishop of Sydney, will concelebrate the mass today at 11.30 am at St Joseph’s.

After the Pontifical Con celebrated Requiem Mass, the party will proceed to Mona Vale Cemetery, where Fr Sobb had expressed a wish to be buried.

Among Fr Sobb’s long list of achievements in the area were his laying out the groundwork for five churches at Avalon, Mona Vale, Terrey Hills, Collaroy Plateau, and his own at Narrabeen.

Fr Sobb was, in fact, the first official Catholic parish priest in the Upper Peninsula, and attended parishioners as far flung as Palm Beach, Terrey Hills and Long Reef.

Fr Frank Coorey. Fr Sobb’s administrator said Fr Sobb was a very well liked, popular and happy man who was granted rare privileges such as life membership of Palm Beach RSL and the RSL of Australia.

“Fr Sobb served as an army chaplain in the Second World War in New Guinea and every Anzac Day he led the march in Narrabeen and would also travel up to Palm Beach for the commemoration,” Fr Coorey said.

“He was a well-known figure in Narrabeen and was a forthright man with the highest regard and respect for his people.

“Fr Sobb was indeed the father of his parish and after rising at 6 o’clock every morning and attending mass at 7 o’clock he would spend the afternoon visiting people in the area in their homes and those in hospital.”

In November 1979, Fr Sobb celebrated 50 years in the priesthood, and Fr Coorey said the most important dates in Fr Sobb’s life were his birth in 1905 in Copeton, NSW, his ordaining in 1929, his move to Narrabeen in 1946 and his death in 1982.

“Fr Sobb was never happier than when he was with his parishioners, and he was with them seven days a week,” Fr Coorey said.

Father Amiel Joseph Sobb.