Visit to the Shrine

By Geoff Howard

We were so pleased to have attended the Shrine of Remembrance on November 3 at the invitation of Shrine CEO Dean Lee who provided us with a very special tour.

We were first reacquainted with the very prominent historic building that many of us had visited, either in our childhoods or in more recent years. This included visiting the sanctuary and climbing the stairs to the terrace to take in the panoramic views across Melbourne‘s landscape.

More interestingly however was the tour of the recently created underground ‘Galleries of Rembrance’. Housed in the excavated spaces between the brick foundation pillars of the shrine are an impressive series of exhibitions. These include physical displays, including one of only two surviving landing boats used at Gallipoli. Also presented were images and the stories of those involved in the First and Second World Wars and other conflict zones in which Australian defence personnel have been engaged since.

Not only were we impressed by the quality of the exhibitions but by the ethos of the shrine management in presenting material in a contemporary way, endeavouring to involve all Australians, old and young, whether they were born here or are more recent arrivals.

We also agreed that our tour provided the inspiration to return on future occasions when we can take more time to absorb the exhibitions in more detail.

Many thanks to Dean Lee and his staff for this very interesting opportunity.


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