RECENTLY I was fortunate enough to take a pleasant stroll in a modest yet important piece of parkland. From 1916 to the present day, ANZAC Park is one of the oldest ANZAC parks in the world – a war memorial and a green space for everyone.
I HAVE visited ANZAC Park on and off for many years and have seen some old trees removed and new ones planted, the circular roadway improved, a dog park installed, children’s area expanded, the duck lagoon which overflows or dries up depending on the seasons and, of course, enjoyed many picnics sitting on a tartan rug on the sloping hillside away from the hum of the city.
APPROXIMATELY 15 minutes or 7km from Brisbane CBD, in times gone by it was a day’s outing at the end of the tram line. It is opposite the significant landmarks of Toowong Cemetery and Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, linked by the Toowong pedestrian and cycle bridge recently named Canon Garland Overpass.
More on Canon Garland further down . . .
ANZAC is the acronym formed from the initial letters of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This was the formation in which Australian and New Zealand soldiers in Egypt were grouped before the landing on Gallipoli in April 1915 during the First World War.
THE CONFLICT commemorated in ANZAC Park is the First World War 1914–1918 and memorial types were Garden/Avenue/Tree. Inscriptions within the park consisted of small brass and metal plaques located in front of memorial trees, bearing the details of local men from the district who died at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. No plaques remain today nor is there a stone monument.
YEARS of petitioning from a community-based campaign to honour the memory of Anglican clergyman and military chaplain Canon David Garland, the Queenslander who gave ANZAC Day to the world, culminated in the renaming of the pedestrian and cycle bridge which crosses the busy Western Freeway. Officially named Canon Garland Overpass, it pays tribute to the man who championed the formation of “ANZAC Day” as our nation’s “All Souls’ Day”.
This photo was taken as I walked across the bridge – a safe yet disconcerting experience.
AFTER A LIFETIME of service to the community, Canon Garland (1864–1939) was buried across the road in Toowong Cemetery, not far from The Stone of Remembrance and The Sword of Sacrifice. The official unveiling of these two memorials makes stirring reading. On 25 April 1924, they were unveiled by the Governor-General as Australia’s first “national” ANZAC Memorial, thanks to the tireless efforts of Canon Garland.
FROM ITS POSITION on the corner of Wool Street and Dean Street, and Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, ANZAC Park has easy access to places mentioned above as well as bushland walks and picnic areas within Mt Coot-tha Reserve.
JUST TO CONFUSE things, an ANZAC monument stands in Toowong Memorial Park, a heritage-listed memorial park at 65 Sylvan Road, Toowong, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The Toowong War Memorial is composed of brown Helidon freestone and was built to commemorate those men of the district who died in service or were killed in action in World War One. It was designed by George Rae and built c.1922 by Toowong monumental stonemasons Andrew Lang Petrie & Sons. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register in September 2007. This monument sits on a hill and has twelve small stone pillars around it.
I am writing this post on 1st September 2020, the first day of Spring, so time to get outside and breathe that fresh air – don’t forget the picnic rug!
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward