Christ Church Cathedral


the Eduardo de Martino Gouache

The Historic Dockyard Museum hosted a reception for invited guests on Wednesday 12th October 2016 to mark the opening of two new exhibitions.    

The historic heart of Stanley

The Eduardo de Martino gouache

Eduardo de Martino joined the navy of the newly established Kingdom of Italy and served as navigating officer on the steam corvette Ercole (‘Hercules’) in the naval detachment on the River Plate. In March 1866 the Ercole set off on a voyage from Montevideo to the Pacific coast of South America, calling at the Falkland Islands on the way.

Ercole arrived in Stanley on 19th April under command of Commander Orazio Persichetti. Two days later the Dutch cargo ship Orange-Nassau arrived in port with a cargo of coal which had caught fire. De Martino distinguished himself by taking a launch to the burning ship and helping to put out the fire. While in Stanley de Martino painted two watercolours of the town and these provide a rare and beautiful glimpse of the fledgling capital.

Bringing the Painting Home
This gouache (opaque form of watercolour) of Stanley waterfront in 1866 was purchased by the Friends of the Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust and the Jane Cameron National Archives (FIMA Friends) in 2016 for exhibition at the Historic Dockyard Museum.

It had been in the possession of the Blake family in England and the owner, Mrs Elisabeth Bamford, although reluctant to part with it, agreed to sell it to FIMA Friends recognizing that it would be seen by thousands of visitors every year in the Museum and that in a real sense it was coming home. At a reception in London on 15th July 2016, the painting was presented to the Museum Director by Donald Lamont, the Chairman of the FIMA Friends.

The consecration of Christ Church Cathedral took place in “propitiously” bright sunshine on 21st February 1892, in the presence of a congregation of several hundred. Work had begun with the laying of a foundation stone two years before but local reports showed that much was still to be done:

“The Tower remained unfinished, the Dado wasn’t provided, the Vestry required attention, and an Organ was wanted, but with the Service of Consecration the people of the Falklands had their own Cathedral and the worship of Almighty God could be offered up in more fitting surroundings than the disused sail loft that had served as a temporary church.”

The Church Magazine concluded with a devout hope that the church would be a permanent blessing to the country:

“It had a cathedral dignity, and at the same time to be used as the People’s Church, under popular management.”

As the established Christian church in the Falkland Islands the Cathedral has hosted many important national occasions as well as a great number of the more personal events – weddings, funerals and memorials – which have kept it at the heart of the community.

Now, 125 years on, the Cathedral is marking its anniversary and working to raising funds for repairs to the roof and brickwork, stained glass windows and the organ. 

If you would like to donate please contact Rev'd Kathy Biles on 00 (500)  51051 or emailing