Official Unveiling, Dedication and Handover Ceremony for the “Canon Garland Memorial – ANZAC Day Origins”
A speech delievered by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia:
Deputy Premier representing our Premier; our former Governor Major-General Peter Arnison; our Members of Parliament, Senators and Councillors; senior Defence Force representatives; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are honoured to join you on this important occasion.
In a few days we will once again witness the Anzac Day rituals so familiar to us – the minute’s silence, the laying of wreaths, the march – all of which seem to have sprung spontaneously into being as part of Anzac Day.
But they were all carefully and deliberately chosen, and we are here today to honour the pivotal figure in the origins of Anzac Day, Canon David Garland, who did so much to shape the rituals with which we, as a community, express our sorrow, pride, and gratitude every year.
Because of his work in recruiting Australians to fight in the Great War, Canon Garland was credited with a genius for organisation.
With the passage of a century since the first Anzac Day, we know that his ingenuity extended also to making timeless choices about fitting rites of remembrance.
These simple, moving gestures have stood the test of time, and have proved remarkably adaptable as Anzac Day broadened to embrace the sacrifice of Australians in all wars, and the community’s heartfelt appreciation for all who serve in our armed forces.
Though Canon Garland received an OBE from my predecessor, Governor Sir Leslie Wilson, in 1934, this was for his leading role in immigration to our State.
So it is marvellous to see him so deservedly honoured, in the 21st Century, for his crucial role in the birth and the shaping of Anzac Day.
He is the main subject of the book, ANZAC Day Origins, published in 2013, which I look forward to receiving from one of its authors shortly. In addition, in 2015, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk opened Canon Garland Place at Toowong Cemetery.
And now we have this dignified memorial to Canon Garland, with the beautiful bronze wreath designed by Dr Rhyl Hinwood AM at its centre, on the cliffs overlooking central Brisbane.
And we are both fortunate and grateful that the memorial is being gifted today to the people of Brisbane.
The prime movers of this project are the members of the Canon Garland Memorial Society, whose enormous dedication has ensured that the man and his achievements are commemorated in this prominent place.
As Governor, and currently Administrator of the Commonwealth, I speak for all Australians in expressing our great gratitude to every one of them for their energy and determination in initiating this project, and bringing it to fruition.
I thank all levels of Government that have supported the memorial, and the many generous sponsors and donors who helped make it possible.
It is with great pleasure that I now unveil the Canon Garland Memorial – ANZAC Day Origins dedicatory plaque, with the sincere wish that the memorial will encourage all those who pass by to remember Canon Garland as “the architect of Anzac Day” and, as he would surely have wished, to remember the sacrifice of the ANZACs.