ANZAC MEMORIAL PARK, CAIRNS

As part of the State Library’s recent Q ANZAC 100 Regional Workshops in Atherton on the Tablelands 6 – 9 February, there was time to stop off in Cairns city to experience the Anzac Memorial Park situated near the Cairns Wharf Precinct on the corner of Spence and Wharf Streets.

Winding its way through a tropical landscape, the pathway encourages you to stop and reflect and pause to read the inscriptions mounted on several black granite columns at various points along the trail. Each of the columns is a tribute to those who served in the armed forces, navy, Royal Flying Corps and women who gave their service.

Each column is dedicated to a particular division of those who served in various conflicts overseas. This one is dedicated to air force personnel. Photo by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland, February 2017.

Each column has an inscription dedicated to those who served overseas. This one is dedicated to Air Force personnel. Photo by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland, February 2017.

The inscription mounted on this column is dedicated to all the women who served. Photo by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland, February 2017.

Although difficult to read in this image, the inscription mounted on this column is dedicated to the women who served. Photo by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland, February 2017.

The history of the Anzac Memorial Park is well documented. The current site was originally part of the Cairns Customs House reserve and was gazetted as the Anzac Memorial Park in December, 1920.

Anzac Memorial Park, Cairns. The current site was dedicated on 11 November, 1995.

Anzac Memorial Park, Cairns. The current site was dedicated on 11 November, 1995. Photo by Anne Scheu, State Library of Queensland, February 2017.

The inlaid decal states:

Let their love of country and unselfishness be an example to us and future generations of Australians of what can be achieved in the face of adversity In remembrance 11 – 11 – 95

If you would like to read more about the history of Anzac Memorial Park, you will find it and much more listed in documentation linking you to the Cairns Region Anzac Trail.

Twenty-four sites are linked to the First World War in the Cairns Region. They include Trinity Beach in the north, sites across Cairns city and suburbs, settlements south of Cairns – Aloomba, Babinda, and Gordonvale and Bartle Frere, from where the march of the ‘Cane Beetles’ originated.

“The trail features war memorials, cemeteries, memorial parks and buildings, each with a poignant reminder of the invaluable contributions made by the men and women of the Cairns region.”

Cairns Regional Council Anzac Trail

Part of a bigger project Mapping our Anzac History, the Cairns Regional Council received funding via the Queensland Government’s Anzac Centenary peak body to document the Cairns Anzac Trail during the commemoration of the First World War – 1914 – 1918.

The Cairns Historical Society and residents are also acknowledged for their assistance with the project.

Tablelands Regional Council and Mareeba Shire Council participated in similar projects to contribute to the commemoration and mapping of the First World War across the whole region.

Anne Scheu

Coordinator Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland

Sources: 

Cairns Regional Council website

Tablelands Regional Council website

Mareeba Shire Council website.