Vision to colour war memories
Memorial window shines
LOOKING through historic papers recently I came across this write-up regarding the RSL Memorial window and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.
The magnificent stained glass window in the Ipswich Memorial Hall was unveiled by then-Governor Sir Mathew Nathan on November 30, 1922. Among the visitors present at the unveiling was the Duchess of Hamilton who was holidaying in Australia. A report at that time said many diggers who had passed through her hospital in England had cause to remember her tender care for the sick and wounded.
It was claimed the Memorial Window was the finest example of stained glass produced in Australia. A bronze inscription below the window states: “This window was erected by the Ipswich Train Tea Society and the little children who helped them, in grateful memory of the men who gave their lives to keep our Empire, Liberty and Homes inviolate”.
The whole of the work was carried out by the Brisbane firm of RS Exton Co Ltd, to a design submitted by Mr W Bustard. The work was executed under the direction of Mr C H Lancaster.
Glasses used in the window were said to be the best English antiques.
Centre feature of the design is a figure of St Michael representing the Angel of Victory with outspread wings embracing four soldier figures representing the 9th, 15th and 26th Battalions and the 5th Light Horse.
St Michaels is shown standing on a globe representing the earth with the crushed German eagle lying at its base and in his hands, he is holding a sheathed sword and the Palm of Victory.
The field of Flanders is shown in the background with scarlet poppies and crosses, while a band of cherubs form a valuable line in the design.
The motto on the window is “Vincit Qui Patitur” which means “He who endures conquers”.
Inspiration for the Memorial Window came from Mrs JA Cameron, wife of Dr Cameron Snr, who was president of the Train Tea Society. This world War Organisation met every troop train taking soldiers to and from the war and served them tea at the Ipswich Railway Station.
At the opening of the Memorial Hall, Mrs Cameron gave an undertaking that money would be raised for a Memorial Window and she organised entertainments and other efforts to raise funds for the window.
The Mayor Ald AT Stephenson who presided at the opening of the Memorial Hall said it was the best memorial that could be found in any singular city in the Commonwealth.
Dedicating the memorial Window the Rector of St Paul’s Anglican Church, the Rev A St J Heard said history was the foundation of future progress. Memorials should always be a means whereby all concerned were stimulated to a more active recognition of their duties and responsibilities to the returned men.
A VISION: The beautiful Memorial Window at (inset) Ipswich Memorial Hall.