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.
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.
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.
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.
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.