Roma's Heroes Avenue Centenary

select 22/09/2018 11:00 AM   -   22/05/2018 12:00 PM
Australia/Brisbane Roma's Heroes Avenue Centenary Roma's Heroes Avenue Centenary Tree of Knowledge - corner of Wydnham and McDowall Street, Roma Queensland 4455

Event Information

Each tree originally bore a brass plaque stating the name of one of the 93 local men who fell during the First World War. Only one of these plaques survives, now on a cairn which was dedicated by the Roma RSL Sub-branch on Remembrance Day 1983, by then a total of 102 trees made the Avenue. The cairn is located outside the Post Office near the corner of McDowell and Wyndham Streets. It also provides information regarding the rows of bottle trees and lists the 93 names originally displayed on the trees. Some of the original trees have been replaced and some have been relocated to allow for increases in traffic. The impetus for the Heroes Avenue began with the Mayor of Roma, Alderman Miscamble who had been impressed by avenues of memorial trees in southern states. The bottle tree was selected as it was a species commonly associated with Roma and it is thought that the first was planted in 1918 to commemorate the death of local soldier Lt Cpl Norman Saunders who was killed in France in 1916. This is the tree located outside the Post Office and known locally as the Tree of Knowledge. Trees were planted to commemorate subsequent deaths and although the plaques have disappeared each tree still retains its association with a particular soldier. The Cenotaph is located in Queen's Park and was commissioned by the Local Repatriation Committee. It was unveiled on Anzac Day, 25 April 1938 by Colonel Sir Donald Cameron and honours the 93 local men who fell in the First World War (the same names that were originally recorded on the trees) and the 39 who fell in the Second World War The erection of the cenotaph was delayed as the Committee's first priority was to provide for the welfare of returned soldiers. A memorial honour board had already been erected by the committee in the Town Hall. The traditional ANZAC Day march moves from the Roma railway station to the cenotaph in Queen's Park. Australia, and Queensland in particular, had few civic monuments before the First World War. The memorials erected in its wake became our first national monuments, recording the devastating impact of the war on a young nation. Australia lost 60,000 from a population of about 4 million, representing one in five of those who served. No previous or subsequent war has made such an impact on the nation. In 2003 the avenue was extended with another 37 trees The Avenue has now 140 trees in total all with bronze plaques set on a hexagonal cairn at each tree, thanks to a grant from Queensland Anzac Centenary - Spirit of Service grants program, we have 88 new updated plaques including 1new plaque another 2 who were never installed giving this avenue a permanent reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of the all the young men gave to keep the freedom and free speech we enjoy today.

Lest we forget

Event Location

Tree of Knowledge - corner of Wydnham and McDowall Street, Roma Queensland 4455
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