Friday, April 24, 2009

Lest We Forget

Anzac Day. The words alone have an unmistakable resonance.

25th April each year commemorates that ill-fated landing at Gallipoli, when thousands of young Australians and New Zealanders were sent ashore to be met by a hail of machine-gun bullets from the entrenched Turkish soldiers. It is hard for us to even imagine the death and devastation that occurred that day, but each year
we gather to honour those who went there, and those who followed in subsequent battles all over the world. In Brisbane, the main ceremonies take place at a shrine that was dedicated to Australian soldiers on the anniversary of Armistice Day, 11th November, in 1930. The picture below, taken around 1939, shows the Shrine of Remembrance that surrounds the Eternal Flame in Anzac Square - click on the photo to see a larger image.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #107302)

At the rear of the memorial is Central Station, and the clock over the entrance to the station can be glimpsed through the columns. There are eighteen columns in the Shrine, representing the year of the initial Armistice Day in 1918. The names of famous battlegrounds are inscribed in the coping over the columns. Each year, a dawn service is held at the memorial, and it seems that attendance at these services increases year by year.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

In this recent photograph (above), the Shrine's position in the middle of Brisbane's CBD is apparent as the surrounding office buildings tower protectively over it, emphasised by my fish-eye lens (click on the image for a larger view). Anzac Square is traversed by thousands of Brisbane's workers each morning and evening as they commute to and from those city office towers. Somehow, I think that is just the way the Diggers would have wanted it.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: The corner shop

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