Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced City Hall’s clock tower will join churches across Brisbane and ring for two minutes at midday tomorrow to mark the end of the war in the Pacific 75 years ago.
This is only the second time in Brisbane’s recent history this has happened; the first being the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 2015.
The date commemorates the end of World War II.
“We are so proud to honour the memories of those who served in the war with this wonderful spectacle at a city icon,” Cr Schrinner said.
“City Hall has also been the backdrop to a nightly light projection of remarkable images from World War II, which has been coordinated by RSL Queensland.
“It’s both an uplifting and haunting display and I encourage residents to take it in, given the historical significance of this week and remember those who served and died in all wars,” Cr Schrinner said.
The nightly display from 6pm depicts images of Brisbane residents celebrating the end of World War II and the faces of soldiers who served and died at war and will finish tomorrow.
The Lord Mayor will also attend an 11am commemorative service at the Shrine of Remembrance tomorrow to mark the end of the World War II. Ann Street will be closed from Creek Street to Edward Street from 9.30am to 1.30pm tomorrow.
City Hall has a deep historical connection with Brisbane’s war experience. The Red Cross Tea Rooms started in the basement of City Hall to cater for servicemen and women and became a popular meeting place for military personnel during the war.
During the renovations of City Hall in 2008, old plaster was removed from a wall and workers discovered pencil writings on the wall.
Further investigations revealed these were forgotten signatures and graffiti left by soldiers who had visited the tearooms during World War II.
Cr Schrinner said Brisbane had always held a special place for those who fought in conflicts and the state heritage-listed City Hall had ensured that the signature wall remained protected.
“Despite the ravages of time and efforts of well-meaning City Hall cleaners to remove the ‘graffiti’ of the past, many of the signatures are still legible,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Using resources from the Australian War Memorial and military records online, we have managed to identify all of the service personnel who left their mark which is an amazing feat,” Cr Schrinner said.
Research has revealed most of the military personnel who visited the Red Cross Tea Rooms from 1941 to 1945 were involved in logistics such as transport, supply and maintenance.
Some further background on the signature wall:
- The Signature wall can be viewed when customers take a MoB tour of City Hall.
- The location is in the basement and not able to be accessed by the general public.
- In October 2008 over 150 signatures were uncovered
- Originally the location of a men’s bathroom.
- Signed by soldiers during WWII.
- Heritage listed.
- Second World War was an important milestone in City Hall’s history as the building became the focus of Brisbane’s home-front activities.
- American General Douglas MacArthur used City Hall frequently as a rest and recreation point for his troops.
- The hall housed voluntary organisations and air raid shelters, hosted patriotic rallies and march-pasts, as well as morale-boosting dances and performances.
Throughout the 1940s City Hall was the headquarters for the City’s Civil Defence Organisation