Peace Monuments in Australia
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July 19, 1919 - "Peace Memorial," Stawell, Victoria (Australia). "The monument, which is about six kilometres along Grampians Road & sits beneath trees 100 metres into a paddock, actually marks the site of the first Pleasant Creek settlement, but apparently not even a number of long time Stawell residents are aware of this. ...contains a plaque which states the following: 'Peace Memorial. Erected July 19, 1919 on the site of Treasury, Commercial Street, Pleasant Creek. Population in 1856 - 56,000.' The 56,000 people, mostly Chinese, had settled in the area in search of gold. The main settlement was no more than the 100 metre distance from where Grampians Road is now & was the first settlement known as Pleasant Creek. As the gold source dried up, the population slowly made its way east, forming a new settlement in the area now known as Stawell West & then progressing to where Stawell's Main Street now exists. As not many residents are aware of what the monument actually exists for, there are plans in place for a second plaque to be erected on the site in Grampians Road, recognising it as the site where Stawell's origins began."
1922 - Geelong & District Peace Memorial Hall, Johnstone Park, Geelong, Victoria (Australia). Click here for monuments constructed after WW-I with "peace memorial" in their names. Date? - Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). Founded in 1852. Most likely adopted "peace memorial" as part of its name after World War I. Church website says. "During the 'Great War,' the 'Great Depression' and the war against Nazism, the Melbourne Unitarian Church [sic] became increasingly involved and vocal on issues of social justice and peace. It was during this time that the Church developed the motto 'Seek the Truth, and Serve Humanity.'"
December 1924 - The Temple of Peace, Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). "Built by Richard Paul Carl Ramo in memory of his four sons, three of whom were killed in World War I. * Victor - killed at Messines in August 1915. * Henry - Died of wounds in Belgium in October 1915. * Gordon - killed at Gallipoli in November 1915. * (foster son) Ferdinand Christian Borell - died in Brisbane in November 1923. The body of Ramo's dog, which had been poisoned was also included in the memorial. Ferdinand Borell died on 28 November 1923 in the rear of Richard Ramo's store at 180 Roma Street, Brisbane, as a result of a gunshot wound. A dedication ceremony was conducted in December 1924 and was attended by several thousand people, many of them socialists, pacifists, and members of the Industrial Workers of the World. A band played "The Red Flag" as a coffin was placed in the memorial. /// Right image shows The Temple of Peace, boarded up after extensive vandalism in the mid-2000's."
1950 - Peace Memorial Rose Garden, Stirling Highway, Nedland, Western Australia (Australia). Near Perth. 1986 - Canberra Peace Park, Canberra, Australian Capitol Territory (Australia). Established for UN International Year of Peace. Monument added in 1990.
1987 - Aboriginal Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (Australia). "...a work of contemporary indigenous Australian art from the late 1980's, comprised of 200 decorated hollow log coffins, conceived by Djon (John) Mundine in 1987–88, realised by 43 artists from Ramingining & neighbouring communities of Central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, created to coincide with the Australian Bicentenary, commemorates those Indigenous Australians who died as a result of European settlement. Its first exhibition was at the Sydney Biennale in 1988, and it was the centrepiece of an exhibition of Indigenous art at Russia's Hermitage Museum in 2000. As of 2014, it stands at the entry to the gallery's new wing that opened in September 2010."
1988 - Peace Monument, Bicentennial Park (north of the distinctive water feature), Sydney, New South Wales (Australia). Metal sculpture by artist Michael Kitching. Commissioned by the NSW government in 1986 to commemorate the UN International Year of Peace (qv). Date? - Peace Boat Pavilion, Chinese Garden, Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney (Australia).
1988 - Brisbane Nepal Peace Pagoda, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). Created by the Kingdom of Nepal for Brisbane's World Expo '88. Relocated for the opening of the Parklands in 1992. Includes a peace bell & a peace post in the pagoda garden.
Date? - The Southern Cross Monument, "Velvet Strand," Portmarnock, near Dublin (Ireland). "Dedicated to the circumnavigation of the globe in 1930 by Australian aviator Charles Kingford Smith [1897-1935] in the aeroplace The Southern Cross, during which Smith made the first East to West crossing of the Atlantic by flying from Portmarnock beach to Newfoundland & NewYork. The bronze needle points directly to the North Star."
1992 - World Peace Bell (WPB), Cowra Civic Square, Cowra, New South Wales (Australia). One of several WPB's promoted by the World Peace Bell Foundation, Tokyo (Japan). There was a POW camp for Japanese and Italian military personnel in Cowra during World War II. On August 5, 1944 at least 545 Japanese POWs attempted a mass breakout from the camp, in perhaps the largest prison escape in world history. Japanese go there to visit the graves of family members.
February 23, 1993 - Rotary Peace Monument, Ivan Jack Drive, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales (Australia). First of a series of similar peace monuments erected by Rotary Clubs in several different countries. See Nobel Peace Walk constructed in 1996.
1995 - Peace Window, St. Monica's Cathedral, Cairns, Queensland (Australia). Two flanking panels each 1.7 metres x 11 metres, and a central overhead panel of 3.5 metres x 7 metres. Commissioned to commemorate 50 years of peace in the Pacific region since the end of World War II. The Cathedral is dedicated to the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought due east of Cairns between the 4th and 8th of May in 1942.
1995 - Telstra Tower, Black Mountaian, Canberra, Australia Capital Territory (Australia). "A Sri Chinmoy Peace Tower." "'Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms' are focal points for peace, reminders from our everyday lives to keep the flame of peace constantly alive in our hearts and minds. Over 1200 parks, trees, monuments, buildings, natural wonders, cities and nations have been dedicated to join this global family. Here in Canberra there are several diverse 'Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms', which were joined together as a garland today with the World Harmony Run carrying the torch from one to the next. Not only are the Peace-Blossoms program and the World Harmony Run both inspired by Sri Chinmoy [1931-2007], they also share a common goal. So on this morning [May 13, 2008] with no formal commitments, it seemed appropriate to spend a few hours bringing the torch to each of the Peace-Blossom locations."
1996 - Nobel Peace Walk, Wagga Wagga (Australia). "Historical and educational project paying tribute to those people who's [sic] life's work was to promote peace. The project's theme is 'peace for all time.' The walk was conceived by master stonemasons J Shephard & Son and commenced in 1996. It was inspired by their involvement with the design and construction of the  Rotary Peace Monument [qv]."
October 3, 1996 - Memorial Plaque (Christmas Island). Text: "British Nuclear Test Veterans Association [BNTVA]. Dedicated To The Memory Of Test Veterans Who Have Died Since The British Tests At MONTE BELLO, EMU FIELDS, MARALINGA, MALDEN ISLAND, CHRISTMAS ISLAND, 1952-1962. Not Forgotten. 3rd October 1996." The first British test took place October 3, 1953, off Trimouille Island, Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia. See 1990 & 1998 memorials in Liverpool & Leeds (England).
Date? - Obelisk at the Totem One test site, Emu Field. South Australia (Australia). "Site of first atomic test on mainland Australia, known as Totem One." Text: "TEST SITE. TOTEM 1. A BRITISH ATOMIC WEAPON WAS TEST EXPLODED HERE ON 15 OCTOBER 1953." October 3, 2002 - Monument to the First British Atomic Test, Onslow, Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia (Australia). Erected on 50th anniversary of Operation Hurricane. Click here for map of atomic tests in Australia.
February 8, 1998 - Peace Grove, Swan River foreshore, Arden Street, East Perth, Western Australia (Australia). Honors Nobel Peace Prize laureates Anwar Sadat & Yatzhan Rabin. Consists of a "Dove Seat" (a dove with spread wings) & "Peace Plinth" (solid square base with plaque). January 1, 2000 - "World Peace 2000 (Australia) Monument," Barry Street, City of Stonnington, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). "A double torch Hellenic Monument that will be use to celebrate every 1 January as 'One Day in Peace' in all our Millennium of Peace celebrations." February 5, 2000 - World Peace Bell, Evergreen Taoist Religious Order, near Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). Chinese shape. "A symbol of freedom peace & human rights."
Date? - Statue of Emma Miller, Speakers' Corner, King George Square, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). "Has a small hand-scratched plaque asking who stole Emma’s umbrella - missing from her left hand." /// Emma Miller [1839-1917] was a trade unionist, suffragist, freethinker & founder of the Australian Labor Party in Brisbane. The statue is one of a trio of statues in King George Square, the other two being Steele Rudd [1868-1935] & Sir Charles Lilley [1827-1897]."
Date? - Peace Park, Tanilba Bay Foreshore (where the end of President Wilson Walk meets Peace Parade), Port Stephens, New South Wales (Australia). "This park is set in a quiet bushland setting surrounded by native flora and fauna." Date? - Peace Park, Trevenar Street, Ashbury, New South Wales (Australia).
Date? - Bronze statute of Gandhi, Glebe Park, Canberra, Australian Capitol Territory (Australia). "Identifies Gandhi’s guiding tenets including: No politics without principles; no commerce without morality; and no science without humanity.”
2001 - Peace Pagoda, Origins Centre, Balingup, Western Australia (Australia). "Visitors traditionally walk clockwise around the pagoda & add their thoughts to world peace. The pagoda came about through the centre’s association with a Burmese Buddhist order. Anne Clarke, who works at the centre, said Sayadaw U Thila Wuntu’s work was to travel the world & build monuments to world peace – one on each continent.The Origins Centre maintained contact with Sayadaw U Thila Wuntu [1912-2011] for many years. Then, after a period of not hearing from him, he contacted the centre to ask if they could build a peace pagoda."
2001 - Reconciliation Place, Parliamentary Triangle , Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (Australia). "An urban landscape design established as a monument to reconciliation between Australia’s Indigenous people and settler population."
October 7, 2001 - Windrove Peace Garden, Tasmania (Australia). Created by Tasmanian sculptor/naturalist Peter Adams.
October 25, 2003 - World Peace Flame #4 (WPF), Nature Care College (NCC), North Sydney, New South Wales (Australia). One of 6 WPF's; the others are in the Netherlands, Wales, and Tennessee (USA).
October 2006 - SIEV X Memorial, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (Australia). Commemorates 300 refugees (mostly Iraqi) who were rescued in October 2001 from a 19.5 metre fishing boat. SIEV is naval jargon for "Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel." Temporary monument reconstructed annually.
January 2009 - Jade Buddha for Universal Peace," Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Sanhurst Town Road, Myers Flat, Victoria (Australia). Carved by Jade Thongtavee Company in Thailand from a rare boulder of translucent jade ("Polar Pride") which was discovered in Canada in 2000. "Perhaps the largest and most beautiful Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade. Including lotus and throne, over 3.5 metres (11.4 feet) tall... Inspired by the most famous Buddha in the world inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya (India)." On world tour 2009-2010. Image made in Huntington Beach, California (USA), in October 2010.
October 24, 2011 - "The Tree of Life," Wesley Church, Hay & Williams Streets, Central Business District, Perth, West Australia (Australia). Sculpture by Rod Laws commissioned as part of the Children's Peace Project for the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2011). /// "The Tree of Life sculpture outside Wesley Emo church is being threatened by …TREES! Who will stop this arboreal terror threatening the CHOGM tree of life?" /// Information courtesy of Peta Clemeno.
August 2016 - Comform Women Monument, Croydon Park, near Sydney, New South Wales (Australia). "1.5-metre statue imported from South Korea. Smbolises hardships endured by tens of thousands of Korean women, who were forced into servitude [during World War II]. Unveiled by former comfort woman Won-Ok Gil, 89, who flew in for the ceremony. Ms Gil was forced to work in a 'comfort station' at 13 years of age & was and raped hundreds of times by Japanese soldiers. At the Sydney unveiling, she sat besides the peace monument and became too emotional to speak."
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