Monday, 11 April 2016

How the Brooweena bridge was built

This is what I found out about the Brooweena bridge: 
  • It's the only known privately built war memorial bridge in Queensland
  • It's located on the Brooweena-Woolooga Rd, west of Maryborough
  • The bridge was officially opened on Saturday 21 May 1921
  • The Honour Roll was unveiled by Mrs A Brown, mother of William Charles Brown, one of the fallen soldiers
  • It was designed and funded by Mr Laurence Smith, owner of nearby Mt Joseph Station and built by station hands and returned servicemen
  • It remembers 9 local men who died in World War One and 38 men who also served and returned
  • It was closed to traffic in 1972
Already I can see several similarities between these two bridges. 

Local people were involved in designing and building them, and they were opened at about the same time and closed at about the same time. 

On 18 August 1920, the Maryborough Chronicle reported the Woocoo Shire Council meeting at which the Council considered Mr L S Smith's offer to build the bridge: "It would be of a most substantial nature and in keeping with the object for which it is intended, namely, a memorial to the soldiers who went from Woocoo Shire area and fell in the late war."

On 26 May 1921, the same newspaper described the opening of the bridge. 

Today the "basket picnic" tradition continues and the bridge is the site of an annual Anzac Day picnic

Station hands from Mount Joseph and a number of returned servicemen helped build a memorial bridge across Bridge Creek on the Brooweena-Woolooga Road.
Fraser Coast chronicle, 15 April 2011

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