Monday, July 6, 2009

Anzac Square

Alright - I'll admit it, OK? I don't like palm trees, OK? There, I've said it! Call the tree police if you must (but I really love other trees - even the big Moreton Bay figs that used to gobble up my golf balls!). Ban me as a non-PC palm hater, I don't care! I think that they're a blight on inhabited areas and that they all should be gathered up and exported to a tropical island to live out the remainder of their branch-dropping, fruit-splattering, bat-attracting lives. Unfortunately I seem to be in the minority. Palms are loved by many, especially property developers who, because palms grow so quickly that they can convert a bare building site into a perceived oasis in a nano-second, plant them in vast numbers to prettify the latest apartment block. Even government horticulturalists seem to like planting them - I'll come back to that. In the meantime, here is a view of Adelaide St taken sometime around 1937. It shows a couple of trams, some motor vehicles of the era, Anzac Square and the government buildings that abut it - just click it to see a larger view (you may glimpse a palm or two!).

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #60688)

Here's a later similar picture, taken in 1954, that shows the government offices adorned with bunting to celebrate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. It also shows the Boer War statue that previously stood in Edward St, now relocated to Anzac Square. And a bigger palm tree!

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #193596)

(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

In my recent photograph (above), the government buildings are now being monstered by even taller buildings, while Anzac Square is also being monstered by palms. The government gardeners have had a field day. Now they'll spend all their time picking up the yellowed fronds that fall from them - that's after they take any injured park-user to the hospital!

Click here for a Google Map


Next: Give my regards to Broadway!


  1. Normally one memorial is adequare for all wars. I mean one generation builds the memorial, and their children and grandchildren add more plaques as required, in subsequent generations. The Boer War soldier sitting proudly on his horse would have been a fitting tribute to soldiers of later wars, I think.

    Anyhow thanks for the link

  2. Glad to have stumbled across your blog. I hear you on the palms in Anzac Square - they stick out like sore thumbs.

  3. I wish you could understand the beauty of the symbolism you’re missing regarding the palms in Anzac Square … the bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestris), yes most planted in 1930s, actually commemorate the Queensland Light Horse Regiments, which served in South Africa's Boer War (1899–1902). And the palm trees are Middle Easten date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) and they represent Australia's success in the Middle East during both of the World Wars.

    1. Thanks for that information.

      I have no problems with the Queensland Bottle Trees.

      I confess to not realising the symbolism of the palms, and looking at them from that perspective I can see some merit.

      However I have a general problem with planting non-native species (even as a memorial) and I have a speciifc problem with palm trees because of the potential danger of falling fronds.

      Besides that - I just don't like 'em!


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