Day 25: Shrine to remember

0
18
shrine of memories

HERE I’ve been, all this time, assuming the tunnel under the Shrine of Remembrance was a beeline to Central Station when in fact there’s another hidden treasure.

Assumption is a dangerous thing.

shrine of memories
Central display area

Don’t be deceived by the sign that points to  “Shrine of memories” thinking it to somehow link to the Shrine of Remembrance above, as I did.

While I have made a few forays into the pedestrian tunnel over time, I’ve always abandoned it but today I struck gold.

The Shrine of Memories is tucked away under the steps leading up to the Eternal Flame and Ann Street. It can be entered on the left from the pedestrian tunnel or from a doorway near the large engraved stone wall to the left when coming from the Adelaide Street side of Anzac Square.

shrine of memories
Plaques line the walls hidden behind Anzac Square

It is a dimly lit tunnel lined with memorial plaques and honour rolls dedicated to Queenslanders who fought in World War II.

There is also a special room with a huge mosaic on one wall made from more than 140,000 hand cut Venetian glass enamels and a sealed collection of soils from the countries where there are official World War II cemeteries.

shrine of memories
Soils from World War II cemeteries in key battle areas are sealed in the centre.

Four walls have tasteful depictions of Army, Navy, Air Force and the women who served. There’s also a sculpture on one wall that is somewhat reminiscent of the large depictions to be found in many Russian shrines.

Place your hand over the illustration on the pillar at the entry, and it will trigger a commentary to accompany the visit.

shrine of memories
Images of all the forces are on the walls.

I think the reason I may have missed it before, apart from the fact that it can all be found behind an easily missed doorway off the tunnel, is that it is closed on weekends and that’s usually when I have passed this way before.

The World War II Shrine of Memories is open 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday and it’s worth taking the time to visit. As always, it’s the sort of place that if I had discovered it in Dunkirk, Omaha Beach, the Somme or Gallipoli I would pause to read, remember and take a photograph. It’s worth doing the same here in Brisbane.shrine of memories

shrine of memories
A rifle in the railway tunnel wall is the only sign of what lies behind the walls.