75 years to the day after its official dedication by the Duke of Gloucester on 24 November 1934, the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney was re-opened after an 18 month restoration and refurbishment program.
Photo: Opening Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park Sydney 1934
[State Library of NSW 03495]
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 24 November outlined the background to selection of the design for the Memorial as well as the nature of the refurbishment program. Click here to read the article.
Further information about the ANZAC Memorial is available on the web-site of the New South Wales Government Department of Premier and Cabinet at http://www.anzacmemorial.nsw.gov.au/home
Additional information is also available on the website of the NSW Branch of the Returned and Services League, which manages the Memorial on behalf of the Trustees of the Memorial at http://www.rslnsw.com.au/index.cfm?page=405.
The special ceremony around the Pool of Reflection commenced at 7:30 pm with the arrival of the Federation Guard accompanied by the Australian Army Band, Sydney.
The Vice Regal Salute was received by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and the General Salute was received by the Premier of NSW, the Honourable Nathan Rees, MP. A Prelude reflected the contribution of the traditional owners of the land with Clarence Slockee playing the didgeridoo while Lance Corporal Adam Cameron-Taylor played the bagpipes.
The Catafalque Party was mounted by the Federation Guard followed by the Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans Affairs, The Honourable Graham West MP outlining the significance of the ANZAC Memorial Building.
The Premier of NSW, the Honourable Nathan Rees, MP and the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO spoke of the importance of the Memorial.
The NSW President of the RSL, Mr Don Rowe OAM and President of the TB Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Association of NSW, Stan Poulson placed a wreath at one end of the Pool of Reflection, which was floated across the Pool to be received and laid by 2 of the Premier’s ANZAC Memorial Scholars for 2009 in the company of the Premier and Her Excellency the Governor.
The Ode was recited by the NSW President of the RSL, Mr Don Rowe OAM and the Last Post was played by Louise Rojas of the ADF from atop of the Memorial before One Minute’s silence and the Rouse.
Following the National Anthem and dismounting of the Catafalque party, guests were invited to proceed to the ANZAC Memorial’s Hall of Memory and lay a Star of Remembrance for an Australian soldier in the Well of Contemplation. These Stars listed the name of a soldier killed in conflicts from the Boer War to current conflicts.
Neville Kidd and Russell Curley lay a Star of Remembrance for an Australian soldier in the Well of Contemplation.
Guests were then invited to view the 75th anniversary exhibition Spirit of ANZAC. A commemorative medallion was issued for the occasion with a stylised image of the Memorial on the front and the words 75th Anniversary and stars on the obverse.
FFFAIF members who were guests at the Ceremony included Russell Curley, Jim Munro, Major General Gordon Maitland AO OBE RFD ED (Retd), Neville Kidd, Theo Arfaras and Mat McLachlan. Photographs by Jim Munro.
Lest We Forget
To read other Media coverage of the Ceremony, click on the following links:
The Australian (aap)
Yahoo 7 News (aap)
The Families and Friends of the First AIF applauds the joint Australian–UK decision, announced by The Hon Greg Combet AM MP and the Hon Kevan Jones MP, to conduct a full DNA testing program on the remains of Australian and British soldiers found in mass graves at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles), and for their continuing commitment to identify as many of the fallen as is possible. We also thank the Australian, UK and French governments for affording dignified individual reburials for these soldiers, buried by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916, in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery presently under construction at Fromelles.