Brisbane pays tribute to ANZAC past in final year of Centenary

Brisbane City Council is readying the city for events marking the final year of the Centenary of ANZAC next week, with a range of new commemorative events and works to pay tribute to the sacrifices of Australian servicemen and women.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said 140 of Brisbane’s war memorials were being respectfully restored and prepared for ANZAC Day services, marking the historic role played by the city during World War One.

“Each year, thousands of Brisbane residents attend ANZAC Day services to remember our fallen servicemen and women and Council is working closely with RSL Queensland to ensure ANZAC Square, Avenues of Honour and suburban memorials are all fitting tributes for this important day,” Cr Quirk said.

“To mark the final year of the Centenary of ANZAC, Council is also offering a program of events across Brisbane’s war memorials, parks, cemeteries and libraries, in addition to the city’s traditional ANZAC Day services and March.

“Brisbane has a rich ANZAC history with the very man recognised as the architect of ANZAC Day, Cannon David Garland, heralding from our city.

“The historic Toowong Cemetery was once the main location for Brisbane’s earliest ANZAC Day commemorations and is now the final resting place for Cannon Garland and hundreds of military personnel.

“To pay tribute to its connection to ANZAC Day, the Toowong Cemetery will host a unique program between April 19 and 28, including theatrical walking tours, concerts, film screenings and special lighting displays.

“There will also be free guided tours and an ANZAC Commemoration book launch at Balmoral Cemetery on April 22, as well as poppy-making activities at Mitchelton and Mt Coot-tha libraries ahead of ANZAC Day.”

Cr Quirk said Council was raising awareness of Brisbane’s lesser-known ANZAC history with 23 individual streets receiving the Rising Sun or Royal Australian Navy badge to honour their historic military significance.

“The Streets of Remembrance program was launched in 2015 to honour the ANZAC Centenary and has so far seen more than 230 streets recognised since 2015,” he said.

“Over the next week, the Rising Sun and Royal Australia Navy badges will begin to appear on 23 streets across the city that hold a special place in Australia’s ANZAC history.”

Cr Quirk encouraged residents to plan ahead to attend the City’s largest dawn service at ANZAC Square, with many roads set to be closed for the city’s traditional ANZAC Day services, but additional public transport services would be operating.

Since 2013, Council has invested $2.2 million towards memorial and heritage restoration work across the city, in addition to a three-stage $13.6 million upgrade to the State’s war memorial ANZAC Square which was jointly funded with the Queensland Government.