Fr Dimitry (Obuhoff) was born Nikolai Obuhoff in Perm, Siberia, in May 1906. He fled with his family in 1917 (due to the Revolution and civil war), settling in Manchuria. Nikolai worked on the Manchurian branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway. After his father’s repose, he moved to Peking (now Beijing) where he became a novice in the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. He completed his theological studies and was tonsured, given the name ‘Dimitry’, and was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1932 by Abp Simon (Vinogradov) of Peking and China. He ministered to the Peking Mission, at Our Lady of Kazan Monastery, and at St Alexis parish in Modyago.
He and his mother arrived in Australia in early 1956, when he was commissioned to establish the St John the Baptist Skete in Kentlyn. After this project did not come to fruition at that time, he was moved to Geelong in March 1959 before being transferred to the Vladimir Icon parish, Rocklea. He hoped to open a small monastic community in Brisbane, but Bp Philaret’s election as Metropolitan of ROCOR prevented this.
In May 1970, he left ROCOR, and was accepted into the OCA, and elevated to igumen (definition below) on 8 April 1975. From 1976 to 1980, he served in the Annunciation parish, until ill health forced his retirement. He reposed on 22 August 1982.
‘Igumen’ (sometimes ‘Hegumen’) literally means ‘Abbot’, and is the equivalent to the rank of ‘archpriest’ for those who are monastic clergy.