For many years, Monsignor Frank ‘Tiger’ Lyons was widely regarded as the chaplain to the Fleet Air Arm. Just a few weeks short of his 90th birthday, he died in Melbourne on 4 September 2011. He will be sadly missed by many.

He passed away peacefully at St Joseph’s Home, Northcote, Victoria and had been in care for some years. His funeral Mass will be at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne on Thursday, 8 September commencing at 1400. He will be buried in the Priest’s Crypt at Melbourne General Cemetery after the Mass concludes.

Mons Lyons was appointed as a chaplain in the RANR in February 1957 from St Columba’s Church, Elwood and later transferred to the RAN on the 23rd June 1958. He served for twenty-one years and retired from the RAN as a Principal Chaplain (RC). Mons. Lyons served in HMA ships Lonsdale, Albatross, Cerberus, Penguin, Creswell, Kuttabul, Watson, Leeuwin, Melbourne, Sydney, Supply, Stalwart, Derwent and Queenborough as well as on the staffs of the Fleet Commander as the Fleet Chaplain and the Naval Support Commander as the Command Chaplain.

His honours and awards included being appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia, Vietnam Medal, Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Vietnam, Australian Service Medal with Clasp FESR, Defence Force Service Medal and the National Medal.

When he retired from the RAN, he always retained a great interest in the Navy, its people and the wider Navy family. Mons Lyons had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary – as will be noted by the many gifts he left as memorials to those who had died during service in the RAN which include this Marian theme. He was serving in Melbourne at the time of the Melbourne/Voyager collision.