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 at Mowbray Park Memorial, East Brisbane

Centenary of the Laying of the Mowbray Park Memorial Foundation Stone

Deputy Premier representing our Premier; Mr Minnikin representing the Leader of the Opposition; Councillor McKenzie representing our Lord Mayor; Ms Terri Butler MP; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.  

It is an honour and a privilege to join you to mark 100 years since the laying of the Foundation Stone of this memorial to those who served in the First World War.

The Foundation Stone was laid by my predecessor as Governor, Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, in 1916.

Governor Goold-Adams was a decorated soldier, who had fought in the Second Boer War in the defence of Mafeking.

He understood the reality of war, yet nothing could have prepared him – or indeed, anyone else – for the scale of the sacrifice Australia was to suffer during the Great War.

Just three months before this Foundation Stone was laid, the Battle of Pozieres was fought in France.

In that terrible battle, Australia suffered 23,000 casualties.

6,800 Australian soldiers were killed or died from their wounds.

It was at Pozieres, the battlefield “more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth” that the war correspondent Charles Bean began to conceive of an Australian War Memorial to honour this stupendous sacrifice.

On the other side of the world, beginning here at Mowbray Park, Queenslanders determined that the service and sacrifice of our fellow Australians would never be forgotten.

Many of the factories, homes and office buildings built in that era have long since vanished, demolished in the march of progress.

It says a great deal about Queenslanders and our fidelity to the memory of the fallen, that this fine memorial, built in stone, endures today.

I thank the RSL National Servicemen’s Sub Branch, the Cannon Hill District and Vietnam Veterans RSL Sub Branch, and the East Brisbane Neighbourhood Watch for hosting today’s commemoration.

They have honoured the spirit of gratitude and patriotism which animated the members of the East Brisbane Honour Roll and Statue Committee, who initiated this fine memorial.

At the laying of this Foundation Stone, Governor Goold-Adams called on future generations “to perpetuate the memory of those gallant soldiers who were fighting the battles of their country.”

With great pride, I acknowledge the faithfulness of generations of Queenslanders to the memory of those who have worn our uniform and served in our name, as I say – as we have for a hundred years – “Lest We Forget”.