Bishop Alfred Joseph Gummer, the fourth bishop, had to be selected and consecrated in N.S.W. with all speed in 1942 as Northern Australia readied itself for the Japanese attack that would reach Port Hedland and the new Presentation Convent there.

The new Bishop was aged 43 and had been a priest for 19 years.  The early period of his 20 years in charge of the diocese was disruptive by the war time absence of service men and their return and re-settlement.  Then came the first wave of Australia's new migrant in particular the young English girls to Nazareth House and English and Maltese youths to Tardun.  Migrants were to be found also at the new mining establishment at Wittenoom, the first hint of the north that would be opened up.