Armed only with a wooden covered bible that has brought comfort to others in conflict since World War II, Chaplain Peter Price is serving on the ADF’s Operation Highroad with Task Group Afghanistan in Kabul, his first operational deployment.
From the Australian Christian Churches’ End Church parish in Brisbane, Chaplain Price said he was privileged to carry the bible that was gifted to him.
“When I was back at 3 Brigade’s 4 Regiment in Queensland in 2014-16, I developed a good friendship with Major Iain McLeod Carnegie, a Scotsman that had transferred from the British Army to the Australian Army after 28 years’ service with them,” Chaplain Price said.
While in the British Army, Major Carnegie carried the bible with him on operations across the world.
On each deployment he inscribed the location of his service that ranged from Northern Ireland in the early '90s to Afghanistan in 2006 and Iraq 2007-8.
Major Carnegie said they met in 2015.
“In early 2015, I had the good fortune to be posted to 4 Regiment, where I had the privilege of working alongside a superb Padre and someone who was to become a good friend, Chaplain Pete Price,” Major Carnegie said.
“Having been hugely impressed with Pete’s empathy and dedication to the regiment, I decided that my time as custodian of the bible had come to an end and that I would present the bible to him when he posted out in 2016, as the perfect custodian, so that it could continue its journey around the globe.”
Chaplain Price said the bible had an interesting history.
“The cool part about this bible is that it has an inscription at the start, I think from a Darcy, saying, ‘To Jean, with all the best luck in the world’, dated March 12, 1944, Egypt,” he said.
Chaplain Price said he was blessed to be on deployment in Afghanistan so he could help those who were serving their country overseas.
“Chaplaincy is more than drinking coffee with people. Matters of the soul ‘matter’ and play an integral part when people are pressed with thoughts of mortality, hopelessness and despair,” Chaplain Price said.
“Those who choose to serve sacrifice a lot. To be even a small part of that, to be able to assist them is something I will always be grateful for.”
Operation Highroad is the ADF’s commitment of about 200 personnel to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.