October 12th Journey Downtown: Part One

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Shane had the day off! He had to travel into the city for an appointment but that meant that I got to go get raspberry toast and coffee while I waited! The coffee shop I went to was called Chapter Five Espresso by Redfern station.

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I also spent time looking at more hilarious internet jokes! According to reddit, he specializes in “roofing”. hahaha

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After Shane was done, he came and met me and we left to go to a Friends Pop-Up coffee shop. We took the train the the “Museum” station which is very close to Hyde Park.

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Hyde Park is all the way in the city so to give an idea of where it is, look at the map below.

The blue box is the area we live in now. The red dot just below that blue box is where we go to catch the train out of Parramatta.

The red box is downtown Sydney where Hyde Park is.

For a couple of landmarks: the Green box is where the opera house is and the purple is where Shane lived for the last two years before moving to where we are now.

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When we got off the train, we walked in towards Hyde Park where I had never been before! The park is home to Australia’s war memorials so naturally we took lots of photos!

The first thing we saw when we got off the train, was this obelisk! Doesn’t it look nice? Guess what it’s for!

Here are some facts which may or may not help you! (They probably won’t.)

  • It was built in 1857
  • It has carved Egyptian Sphinxes and Serpents on it
  • It is modelled after “Cleopatra’s Needle on the Thames in London
  • It is 22 meters tall
  • The top is a hollow bronze pyramid

Okay now look at the photo and guess because the answer is in the text below.

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Add what you guessed in the comments!

Did you guess that… it was built as a sewage vent? I took photos of it like an idiot! What the heck! Even their sewer system is fancy! Technically, it’s now used as a stormwater vent. I guess Sydney has upgraded their infrastructure since 1857… Don’t believe me? Here’s the wikipedia article.

After we moved on, we came across the memorial for the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people who contributed to the military. Like in Canada, there is a strained historical relationship between indigenous populations and the government. During times of military conflict, they were treated like second class citizens and their service wasn’t recognized at the time. To try and show respect for their service, those groups have a special monument dedicated to them.

It was built by a famous Aboriginal-Australian Artist named Tony Albert and the name of the piece is “YININMADYEMI” which means “Thou didst let fall”. I don’t really understand why it is named that way.. maybe an extra critique towards the Australian Government through the name of the statue?

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The statue itself is 4 standing bullets with three spent shells tipped on the ground. They are supposed to represent both those who survived and those who fell in the war.

Here is Shane next to the statue. The name of the piece and an inscription on the bottom of one of the shells which you can see to the left of Shane.

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I’d love to go back to Hyde Park because there were lot of other memorials that we didn’t get a chance to see.

After looking at Yininmadyemi, we moved onto Australia’s Anzac memorial. Anzac is a name which was given to a specific group of soldiers who landed in Turkey in 1915 during World War One. Since that time, the name has grown to encompass all Australian troops deployed in any peacekeeping or conflict mission.

The name is an acronym for: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

It is a very significant word for Australians – in addition to recognizing Remembrance Day like we do in Canada, they also observe “Anzac Day” on the  25th of April each year.

One of the unique elements of Anzac Day are “Anzac Biscuits”. These are little cookies that Australians at home baked and sent to the troops. They are made in such a way that makes them durable during long travel that may have severe fluctuations in temperature and humidity. On Anzac Day it is traditional to make or buy these. There are many recipes on google but here is one from the Anzac Day Website.

In Hyde Park, they have the Anzac Memorial. This is where they host the Anzac Day ceremonies and pay tribute to their soldiers. It is already an impressive memorial but apparently there are plans to expand the memorial with reflecting pools as was originally intended.

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The memorial was built in 1934 and housed several Veteran’s affairs offices over the years. It was built primarily using the labour of returned soldiers which served the dual purposed of re-employing soldiers immediately and adding a great deal of significance to the monument.

To give you an idea of what it really looks like, here is a professional shot that I took from the Anzac Memorial webpage. They have a great virtual tour as well if you want to see what it’s like!

So the next picture is taken up the stairs from the front of the monument that you can see in the photo above. The sign says “Let silent contemplation be your offering”.

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On the floor behind the sign you can see a disc on the floor. Here’s a close up:

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Inside you enter what is called The Hall of Memory – you can see the big stone barrier, that’s about waist height and you can look down onto a statue named “Sacrifice”. The stone barrier itself forms what is called “The Well of Contemplation”. I took a few photos of the statue that you’ll see below but here is the view from above:

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The statue depicts young man who has died in the war, laying across his shield with his sword under his shoulders and arms. There is a downstairs to the memorial and from those angles, you can see his mother, wife and baby, and his sister carrying the weight of his shield and sacrifice. If you look closely in the photo that I took above, I think you can see the side with his wife and baby.

Below you can see what are called “The Niches of Remembrance”. There are four in total and they list important Australian Battles that they fought in World War One.

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This one above says:

France and Belgium

Somme 1916
Bullecourt
Messines
Ypres
Somme 1918
Hindenburg Line

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This one says:

New Guinea and High Seas

Kabakaul
Cocos Islands
West Atlantic
North Sea
Otranto Barrage
Malaysia

The other two niches cover the Gallipolo Campaign and the Sinai-Palestine Campaign. I’m annoyed with myself because I didn’t take a photo but above you in the Hall of Memory is a gorgeous dome covered in gold stars. There is a quote The Book of the Anzac Memorial which describes what the golden stars mean.

this Golden Galaxy symbolises all those men and women from New South Wales who served in the war – one star for every man or woman who heard the call – a constellation of honour and memory totalling 120,000. These stars, placed high above the eye of the spectator and lighted by the amber glass of the great windows, makes of the interior of the Hall a place of sacred memories.

The last key feature that we saw in The Hall is the eternal flame:

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After taking the photos from upstairs we went downstairs where they have a museum and viewing rooms for the other sides of Sacrifice. The museum was very well done and had an informational video on what Anzac means, the building of the memorial, the significance of the memorial and the statue Sacrifice.

Here are a couple more photos of Sacrifice. You can see the view into the Well of Contemplation from below in the photo on the left.

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The room that the statue is in has the names of major military locations carved into the marble around the sides of the room. Above the doors (see the swords on the doors?) you can see France and to the right you can see The High Seas.

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Before you enter the museum, they have a little sign with information on what happened on this day in history!

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Here are some photos from inside the museum:

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The boomerang says “Until we meet again” Italy Northern Territory 1944. On the left side it says Norm and on the right it says Ted. I wonder if they were brothers?

These are boots from Vietnam:

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The two photos above belong together. The medals are from the RAF. The little blue book up at the top of the second photo is actually a Royal Canadian Air Force log book!

It was super bright outside so this was the only photo I managed to get with both of our eyes open:

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Here are the formal dedications from downstairs.

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After leaving the memorial, Shane and I went to the Central Perk pop up cafe in Hyde Park. A major competitor of Netflix here called Stan just released all of Friends in their library so to promote the new streams, they built a mini Central Perk for a few days. We went in and got our photo taken on the famous big orange couch.

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Major kudos to Shane for finding out about really cool stuff and planning fun dates around it!

Also! Free coffee! Omnom. We sat on a bench in the park and drank our lattes.

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After that… you’ll have to wait for the next post!

Miss you all and love you all!

Carmel

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