The Memorial Obelisk
The Memorial Obelisk which stood in the centre of Anzac Parade at the northern end was erected in 1917 to mark the place where many of the battalions of volunteers who left Australia to fight had marched past. It was removed for the construction of the Tibby Cotter pedestrian bridge in 2014.
We believe the Anzac Memorial Obelisk is central to the memorial and should be reinstalled in its original 1917 location at the entrance to the parade adjacent to the intersection with Moore Park Road.
The Memorial Obelisk, or a replica, could be placed on an elevated plinth in the middle of an existing section of the road that is wide enough to hold it. The obelisk could be lit at night and with the darkness of the surrounding fields it would be a dramatic memorial and entrance to the boulevard named in the diggers’ honour. As was intended.
The Memorial Grove of Trees
Centennial Parklands recognises the remarkable grove of Moreton Bay and Port Jackson fig trees as “one of the most iconic and significant plantings in the Sydney Metropolitan region”.
A number of these majestic memorial trees on Anzac Parade have now been cut down to make way for the Tibby Cotter bridge and the light rail and more are to be cut down for a second bridge. Other trees have been pruned and their roots cropped. The chances of their surviving are slim.
There are now significant gaps in this memorial grove of trees.
Any trees to be replaced must be Port Jackson or Moreton figs and any pruning or cropping must be done to Australian Standards by a qualified arborist , documented and made available to the public..
Advertising has always been banned on the public stretches of the Parade but very large advertising panels have now been installed in the bus shelters on both sides of the road. These panels are brightly illuminated at night breaking the sombre darkness that once ruled here. We anticipate more advertising by stealth and more bright lighting when the light rail stops are established.
Prohibiting all advertising in this section of Anzac Parade. We urge that the plans of the light rail be intensely scrutinised to minimise advertising, lighting, signage and infrastructure on the site.
Median strip fencing
Unattractive fencing has been placed down the middle of the boulevard for the entire length of the most significant section between Lang Road and Moore Park Road. While we understand that fencing may be necessary for safety to prevent pedestrians dashing across the road, it could be beautified.
Improving the appearance of the median strip on Anzac Parade, for example, by planting a hardy hedge such as rosemary along the fence line, where once palm trees were planted.
The Centennial and Moore Park Parklands
Government funding is now being withheld for the Parklands. As a result the Parklands management, the Centennial and Moore Park Trust, is forced to raise money by leasing parts of the Parklands for commercial purposes.
Potential loss of a significant site
As has occurred elsewhere in the Parklands, we fear that such leases will entail the installation of synthetic surfaces in the fields, an over-usage of lands and the installation of night lighting between Lang Road and Moore Park Road.
Such an outcome would almost completely destroy the current integrity of the site as a relatively quiet contemplative location and an area for passive recreation.
Prohibiting the installation of synthetic fields, parking and changing room facilities to accommodate intensive commercial use.
Green spaces and dark spaces
Prohibiting the installation of intense night lighting in either Moore Park East or Moore Park West.
We urge that not only should the green spaces around this memorial be preserved but the dark spaces too. This area remains (probably more by neglect than design) one of the most dramatically dark spaces close to the CBD.
We cannot think of a more fitting location to give dramatic meaning to the epitaph “At the going down of the sun, we shall remember them”. Let’s let the sun go down and rise again – unhindered by intense excessive lighting for light rail patrons (apart from what is adequate for safety), whistles, lights and advertising panels. A single beam on the obelisk would then stand out at night.
Quiet spaces for reflection and passive recreation
Permanently preserving the quiet nature of the parklands and green fields on either side of it. Moore Park East, north of Kippax Lake, was where the diggers and their families used to gather before heading out to lay wreaths at the obelisk. The parklands on the western side of Anzac Parade, adjacent to the original site of the obelisk, also accommodate the Korean War Memorial – even more reason to accord the area a little dignity and to preserve its surrounds.
Closing one bus lane
Investigating the feasibility of closing the dedicated bus lane that carves down the side of Moore Park East between Moore Park Road and Lang Road. This bus lane has always been an extravagant use of public lands and could well be regarded as superfluous once the light rail is running. Once it is no longer required for buses it should be returned as part of the grassy Parklands.
Recognising the significance of the site through an Act of Parliament and legislating for its protection.
Placing all road and roadside management decisions for Anzac Parade and its immediate vicinity under, for example, the Office of Environment and Heritage or Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
We, the Daughters of ANZAC, are dedicated to preserving the Anzac Parade Memorial site. We are advocating that the Parklands on either side be recognised as part of the Memorial because of the significant events that took place there during and after World War I.
Restoring and Preserving
The ANZAC Parade Memorial
Anzac Parade is no longer the graceful boulevard it once was and its significance as
a war memorial has been largely forgotten.
We, the Daughters of ANZAC and their Families, urge all relevant parties to ensure the long-term survival of this historic memorial site by adopting the suggestions below.