New E-petition circulating
Honouring a legend
“Coo-ee!” Would you like to see the Queenslander who gave Anzac Day to the world prominently honoured in Brisbane’s western suburbs this Centenary of Armistice year?
Click the link below to open the Queensland Parliament E-Petition and join the grassroots campaign to make this proposed tribute a reality:
This E-Petition closes on 12 October 2018.
Queensland’s State Parliament is being asked to rebadge the Toowong Cycle and Pedestrian Overpass, in Brisbane western suburbs, to reflect the surrounding area’s unique significance as the cradle of the movement which became Australia’s most beloved institution: “Anzac Day”.
Canon Garland Memorial Society Incorporated supports the community-lead push to see this prominent State Government-built pathway renamed – “Canon Garland and Anzac Memorial Cycle and Pedestrian Overpass”– to honour the memory of the “Architect of ANZAC Day”, First AIF volunteer chaplain Lieutenant-Colonel, the Reverend Canon David John Garland OBE (1864-1939).
A LONG TIME COMING
Constructed between July 2008 and March 2009 by contractors engaged by the Queensland Department of Main Roads (the “DMR”) on behalf of Queensland Transport, this $5.4 million overpass physically links Toowong’s sprawling Anzac Park and adjacent Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha to the Western Freeway Bikeway.
The catalyst for the creation of the bikeway and overpass was local community agitation and consultations that began at least a dozen years ago.
The-then Member for Mount Coot-tha (and Local Government Minister), the Hon. Andrew Fraser MP, lobbied the Beattie Labor Government hard for the project, and on 31 May 2006 he and then Transport and Main Roads Minister, the Hon. Paul Lucas MP, made a joint funding announcement, describing it as “a victory for the local community”.
Mr Fraser continued: “This has been an issue for a generation and today’s announcement is sensational news for the local community and indeed for cyclists from afar.
“The Toowong Roundabout has acted like a giant roadblock for pedestrians and cyclists and this project will greatly enhance safety and link up major local destinations, such as Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, Anzac Park, the Western Freeway Bikeway and Toowong State School.
“I want to thank everyone who has assisted me in putting the case for this project: especially local residents and cycling groups who joined the campaign. It was a genuine community effort and today it has all paid off.”
The wheels of government ground slowly on and two years later, this was how DMR characterised its intention to start construction work on the overpass associated with the Western Freeway Bikeway in late 2008:
Roll forward some nine years and now extensive and complementary pathway and ramp construction work is under way by Brisbane City Council contractors and staff along Mount Coot-tha Road.
This means the route, which stretches beyond Moggill Road and straddles the Western Freeway, is surging eastwards and northwards into historic Toowong Cemetery, and it will soon link up with other citybound civic bike and pedestrian pathways.
Right at the base where the imposing, 60-metre-long, 6.2-metre-high freeway crossing lands is the Brisbane World Expo ’88 Rainforest Grove, which is in the midst of a spruce-up as part of the 30th anniversary of the staging of World Expo 88 at what is now Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands.
The Avenue of Honour upgrade inside Toowong’s Anzac Park, along with work under way alongside Toowong Cemetery is rapidly fine-tuning a historical and botanical “must-see” precinct for tourists and Brisbane locals.
LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN
Now is the perfect moment for the Queensland State Government, in conjunction with Brisbane City Council, to seize the moment and synthesize all these elements into one overarching theme – “Remembrance of The Fallen”.
Renaming the overpass would add a permanent tribute in the Centenary Year of the Signing of the Armistice that ended the Great War on 11 November 1918, on behalf of future generations of Queenslanders.
World War I directly claimed the lives of 61,513 Australian Defence Force personnel, and consigned a further 8,000 returned soldiers, sailors and airmen to die prematurely from war-related causes in the years following.
Anzac Park — one of the first civic spaces of its kind in the world — and the State’s largest cemetery share a connection to the Queenslander who gave Anzac Day to the world.
In response to the dreadful toll of dead, wounded and missing in the wake of the landings at Gallipoli in The Dardanelles in 1915, local Church of England cleric, Canon Garland, on 10 January 1916, was tasked by the people of Brisbane with devising the format for a solemn civic commemoration to honour and remember The Fallen.
First held on 25 April 1916, Anzac Day is observed throughout the world and holds a unique place in the heart of all Australians and New Zealanders.
For some 18 years until 1939, Canon Garland conducted an Anzac Day commemorative observance at Toowong Cemetery, the final resting place for 275 World War I and 120 World War II veterans.
After a lifetime of service to the community, he was buried in Toowong Cemetery, not far from The Stone of Remembrance and The Sword of Sacrifice — which, on 25 April 1924, were unveiled by the Governor-General as Australia’s first “national” Anzac Memorial, thanks to Canon Garland’s tireless advocacy.
In November 2015 this area near the main gates was renamed “Canon Garland Place” by Brisbane City Council.
“Legacy Way” tunnel — named in honour of the organisation founded after World War I to care for the children of deceased service personnel — is located adjacent to the overpass and runs beneath Toowong Cemetery.
Canon Garland Memorial Society urges all Queenslanders to add their voice to calls for Toowong Cycle and Pedestrian Overpass to be finally given a memorable name that befits the exceptional national, cultural and historical significance of the places it now links.
A name that symbolically expresses Queensland’s pivotal role in the creation of Anzac Day itself and honours the estimated 58,000 men and women who enlisted in Queensland during World War I, commends itself.