Site 21

Start of Anzac Memorial Avenue

Anzac Avenue, an abbreviated version of what was originally referred to as the Anzac Memorial Avenue, one of many Australian ‘avenues of honour’, was established after World War I to commemorate fallen soldiers. In 1921, Thomas James Rothwell (1860-1928), the President of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland, first proposed the development of such an avenue in Queensland. After Club members decided to adopt his proposal, the Redcliffe Road, which began at Petrie and extended to the shores of Moreton Bay at Redcliffe, was selected as being suitable for the project. The Anzac Avenue Memorial Committee, with Rothwell as Chairman, was established to raise funds for the scheme. Under the direction of the Main Roads Board, work commenced on upgrading the existing Redcliffe Road in December 1922. At the time, 25 returned soldiers were employed, but by March of the following year, the number had increased to 50.

It was subsequently decided that an avenue of trees should also form part of the tribute and the first trees, two Cocos palms, were planted at the entrance to the North Pine School of Arts, Petrie, by the Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan, on 2 March 1925. The two palms, which were resited from the garden at Murrumba, were donated by Elizabeth Petrie, the widow of Tom Petrie. A similar tree planting ceremony was held at the Redcliffe end on 7 July 1926.