It was a pleasure to attend this year’s MHSA conference hosted over the Easter Weekend in Maryborough by the Queensland Branch of the Society. Presentations ranged over a broad spectrum of topics with a key note address by Mr Keith Payne VC OAM.
The venue was a revelation for me. The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum in Wharf Street is surely the finest private military museum in Australia. It was created by John and Else Meyers and is run with the help over 100 volunteers who share an obvious passion and enthusiasm for preserving Australia’s military heritage.
My colleague Brian Randall and I were treated to a fantastic tour of the museum by John Meyers and were absolutely astounded by the medal groups on display from all of the conflicts Australian Service Men and Women have been involved in from the Boer War to Iraq/Afghanistan.
On the upper level, the “Gallipoli Room” contains the most significant collection of Gallipoli medals in the world. The room holds the medals of 82, mostly Australian, soldiers decorated at Gallipoli and the medals of 51 of the 370 Australian officers killed there. Included is a prominent display in memory of Lt Col Lancelot Clarke, the oldest and only commanding officer killed on the day of the landing.
I was very interested to see the miniature medal group for Major General Sir William Glasgow and associated memorabilia. The State Library of Queensland has recently acquired the papers of Sir William Glasgow, including his WWI correspondence.
It was wonderful to meet other guests and speakers at the conference and a very special experience indeed to be inside the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum. A breathtaking site of memory.
Curator, Military Collections
State Library of Queensland