Vandalised Sword of the Spirit reinstated for ANZAC Day

A sacred shrine honouring our fallen soldiers at Toowong Cemetery has returned to its rightful place in time for ANZAC Day, after a disgusting act of vandalism damaged the monument in early March.

Paddington Ward Councillor Peter Matic said the Cross of Sacrifice Memorial had been meticulously repaired and restored the Cross of Sacrifice Memorial, which honoured all fallen soldiers and the founder of ANZAC Day, Canon David Garland.

“The Brisbane community was shocked by the callous attack on Australia’s military history by the group of individuals, and craftsmen have been working around the clock to ensure this important monument would be repaired in time for ANZAC Day commemorations,” Cr Matic said.

“Council has been working with the Canon Garland Memorial Society, as well as local blacksmiths and stonemasons to restore the memorial and sword to its former glory, which required the sword to be smelted and recast.

“The original bronze Sword of the Spirit was bent back upon itself in two locations and flattened to 25 per cent of its original thickness at one end – unfortunately the sword was not recoverable from this condition so had to be straightened to allow a pattern to be made for recasting.

“The stone cross was also damaged during the incident, and this was also restored and reattached by the stonemason.

“Council is currently seeking reimbursement of costs for the vandalism done to the Sword of the Spirit from the alleged offenders through the courts, and proceedings are still ongoing.”

Cr Matic said the Cross of Sacrifice Memorial was in integral part of Toowong Cemetery’s war history, and sat adjacent to the recently-established ‘Canon Garland Place’.

“Council opened the ‘Canon Garland Place’ lawn at Toowong Cemetery in 2015 to honour Canon David Garland, the man known as the ‘architect of ANZAC Day’,” he said.

“The lawn highlights the importance of Canon Garland’s contributions to Australian society to honour fallen troops, and recognises his contribution to what is now a national tradition.

“The ‘The Cross of Sacrifice’ and ‘The Stone of Remembrance’ were unveiled in 1924, and funded through fundraising activities which Canon Garland established. These memorials sit next to ‘Canon Garland Place’, which was the focus of ANZAC Day commemorations in Brisbane until the completion of ANZAC Square in 1930.

“This year, in addition to the Dawn Service that takes place at ANZAC Square, residents can once again look forward to special events at Toowong Cemetery, including a tour of the burial sites of some of our fallen soldiers to showcase their true stories.

“Visitors can take a look back in history, with nightly artistic tours retelling stories of fallen soldiers, during the week-long commemorations from 21 to 29 April, along with a movie and an ANZAC concert on the lawn at Canon Garland Place.”

[Ends] 20 APRIL, 2017