ANZAC Memorial Church
Friday, 15 September 2017
Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan—Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (10:53): I rise today to speak about the significance of the Anzac Memorial Church in Indooroopilly and its historical impact on the Ryan electorate. This church may well be the only building of any kind in Australia to be designated as an Anzac memorial.
Prior to the Great War, the Indooroopilly Methodist congregation worshipped in a small wooden building located on the corner of Moggill Road and Rylatt Street. It wasn't long before it became inadequate and the trustees purchased a new lot of land on Station Road in 1912, with plans to build a new church. Then, in 1914, war broke out and many young men of the district enlisted to join the forces. Tragedy struck, especially on the Turkish shores of Gallipoli, leaving our nation in grief. With a passionate drive to commemorate the lives lost, the Indooroopilly Methodist congregation sought to make their new church a memorial site for the Anzacs. With support from the Governor of Queensland, construction began on the church under the name 'Anzac Memorial Church'.
However, mid construction a federal government edict was passed, banning the use of the word 'Anzac' on all buildings. With the name already quite literally set in stone, and the Governor unable to assist the congregation, they sought help from the then Prime Minister, Billy Hughes.
On 1 September 1917—100 years ago—at 4 pm, the doors to the Anzac Memorial Church were opened for the very first time. It was almost one month later, on 24 September 1917, that the church was informed that the use of the word 'Anzac' was permitted in this one—and I understand only—instance. Those visiting the church today are treated to a small exhibition of photographs and memorabilia, as well as the experience of immersing themselves in the rich history of the building and its implications. As the member for Ryan, I am proud to speak about the importance of this site in my electorate, not only as a historical landmark but as a continuous reminder of the sacrifice of the brave soldiers who fought selflessly for our nation.
I would like to pay tribute to local resident and congregation member Mr James Gibson for his hundreds of hours of work and research into the history of this iconic building. James's self-authored book, Anzac Memorial Church, is a publication that will long ensure the church's history and its significance. Earlier this month, on 2 September, Reverend Elizabeth Nolan arranged a special 100th anniversary service. James addressed the congregation and gave a fitting tribute, in which he detailed many facts about the people and families of the district who were there at its inception. For many, the freedoms we enjoy today—indeed the religious freedoms we enjoy today—are a direct result of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Lest we forget.