The war memorial is a common feature in most Australian towns and old inner city suburbs. Usually it’s a small monument, but ten years ago the city of Mandurah broke with that tradition when the original memorial had to be demolished. Taking advantage of a large open space on the Peel Estuary the city adopted a design from architects Hames Sharley, who deserve all praise for their design.
(This photo by Mike Harris. All others are mine.)
The right hand side is the ‘face’ of the memorial. Wreaths will be laid today under the names of theatres of operation from Sudan in 1885 to Afghanistan today. The white pillars were cut from stone transported from the Pilbara in the north of WA.
The memorial features two major elements – the path, and the pillars. A waterfall begins at the point where they converge and weaves through the pillars, emptying into the waters of the Peel Estuary on the far side.
Australia has lost many more troops fighting abroad than it has in defending its own soil. The pillars, rising up out of the earth and then descending into the water, echo the journey of the Australian men and women who have answered the call to battle in faraway lands.
I recommend you watch this brief video in full screen mode.
Many of the pillars bear inscriptions.
At the heart of the memorial, almost concealed, is a smaller pillar of black granite.
Mandurah has developed rapidly in the last ten years and its prosperity is obvious. The citizens and their council deserve great credit for investing a part of their wealth in this exceptional memorial.
(As mentioned earlier in the week, I will have a post for ANZAC Day each day across the long weekend. Tomorrow I feature the memorial to the Flight of the Double Sunrise.)