2019 Aus ANZAC Square and the Baobab Trees

Wed 13 Nov 2019 00:40

Remembering the people of Past Wars

Dear Readers,

You know me very well by now so you will predict that on our recent visit to Brisbane I took quite a few photos and I then had the dilemma of how to write up our five days there using the edited pictures. Five chronological blogs, one for each day, would not work because for example, I took pictures of the buildings and the scenes at South Bank and Streets Beach throughout our stay and to write about our activities each and every day would invariably lead to tedious repetition so on studying the pictures I decided the Brisbane blogs should be Topic Based. Here is a list which the computer decided should be presented in alphabetical order!

1                   Anzac Square

2                   Brisbane Arcade

3                   Brisbane Architecture

4                   Botanic Gardens

5                   Channel 7 Wheel of Brisbane

6                   City Hall and Museum of Brisbane

7                   GOMA QAG (Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery) and Library

8                   Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

9                   Maritime Museum

10              Melbourne Cup Day

11              Queens Plaza

12              South Bank and Streets Beach

13              Youth Hostel Roof Top

So here goes with Anzac Square.

Brisbane is blessed with plenty of green spaces and one of the oldest and most carefully preserved is ANZAC Square. ANZAC formally stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps 1914-1918, but the informal and more appropriate meaning is anyone from Australia or New Zealand because the Boer War, Second World War and Vietnamese War fallen are also remembered. The two fine Baobab or Boab trees that beckon one down the steps from the eternal flame in its pillared enclosure were planted at the end of the Boer Wars (Dec 1880 - Mar1881 and Oct 1899 - May1902) and have been providing welcome shade to the city dwellers since.

There is a fine museum underneath the circular ‘temple’ of the flame, where extensive records are kept with lists and other treasured memorabilia and vast interactive tables that with finger-tip direction from the inquisitor will reveal as much of the history as is desired. The two kindly attendants are both very young, quietly dressed and nowhere near thirty years old yet.

The photo of Vincent Law, who was an aboriginal veteran soldier from the First World War, is from the Queensland Museum, not the Anzac Archives but since he was an inspiration to his family whose son served in Vietnam and three of his great grandchildren are now in the Australian Army I felt it relevant to include him here.

Between 50 and 210 Aborigines served in the Boer Wars as trackers in South Africa despite not being recognised as Australian Citizens and it is possible that some were not allowed back to their native homeland because of the White Australia Policy of the time. Indigenous intellectuals and academics are busy researching the history of their people and writing books about their past within an ever changing society of mixed opinions and politics. Also it is a pleasure to hear on the radio interviews with indigenous people who are living and expressing themselves and their origins within contemporary Australian society, not forgetting of course the ongoing struggles of people such as our friend Tyronne Bell fighting for the restoration of land titles around Canberra and other centres of modern civilisation.

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