Columns raised for Gallipoli project
WEATHERED steel columns representing the foreboding cliffs which greeted our troops at Gallipoli are being placed at the Queen's Park memorial.
The impressive pillars, provided by Downer's Maryborough depot, were hoisted into place by Wide Bay Crane Hire on Tuesday to mark the next stage of the Gallipoli to Armistice memorial project.
The tallest column forms the 8m peak which symbolises the top of the famous headland nicknamed "The Sphinx" while four rows of columns represent the landscape at Gallipoli.
Crane hire and labour for the re-creation of the Gallipoli landscape were donated to the project by the Persal family of Persal & Co.
Their continued sponsorship began almost four years ago under the late philanthropist Warren Persal who died suddenly in September 2017.
His son Graham, manager of Wide Bay Crane Hire, said his dad would have been "stoked" to see the memorial come together while his daughter Janet said it was an emotional moment to witness the pillars being erected.
"He'd be really proud to see this happening and we're very proud to be here today to see the tall pillars go up," she said.
The memorial will serve to remember those who fought in the war and pays special tribute to Duncan Chapman, a Maryborough man who was the first to step foot on shore at Gallipoli.
Queen's Park Military Trail Project Committee President Nancy Bates said she expected many visitors to flock to the coast to see the memorial.
"We regard it as being a memorial of national significance and it's certainly shaping up well," she said. "I think a lot of people around town as well as myself, the committee, the RSL and Council are pretty stoked right now about seeing this all go up."
Having been a number of years since the statue of Duncan Chapman was erected, Mrs Bates said there was plenty of residents pleased to see he was no longer "lonely".
"He's sat there for three-and-a-half years wondering when the cliffs of Gallipoli were going to materialise in front of him," she said.
"There will also be three boats behind him which will symbolise the three boats of the ninth battalion that were the first to arrive."