A re-enactment of MALENY’S GREAT DAY

ANZAC 1918 Maleny Victory Parade

1918 Maleny Victory Parade

Maleny RSL wishes to re-enact the 1918 Victory March through Maleny,  November 2018.

In 1918, practically every person in the district was present“, and the crowd numbered “many hundreds” to rejoice in the end of World War I and anticipated re-union with their loved ones.

Chris Brooker from Maleny RSL is keen to ascertain interest in the reenactment by calling a community meeting – already receiving interest from TS Centaur cadets and Mens’ Shed.

Excerpts from Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, Friday 6th December, 1918. Page 4:

The procession was over ½ mile in length, and started from the doctor’s residence, passed through the township to Mr. Dunlop’s paddock. The efforts of the promoters were crowned with success, while the preparations of the participants were highly praiseworthy. Heading the procession, as a symbol of the law and order that characterises the British Dominions was our popular “John”, Constable McLaughlin, mounted on a fine steed. He was followed by a dozen returned men, heroes who had amply done their bit for the Empire, and carrying the Landsborough Shire Councils War Loan Honour Flag. There were succeeded by “John Bull” cleverly represented by Master Ted Hankinson, whose get-up on the big draught horse was quite imposing.

Our ever enthusiastic Red Cross workers next marched blithely along in suitable attire, gaily singing patriotic songs, the two leaders struggling with a huge Red Cross banner quite out of proportion to their own size, but considering the day, no task to them was impossible. Jack Tar was next represented by a number of boys, attired in sailor costume aboard the “Sydney”. This proved undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the day. Mr Alfred Cooke’s Studebaker car was converted into an ideal sham battle ship. The disguise was so perfect and so realistic. The “vessel” was 30 feet in length and masts, funnels, guns, life belts, port holes, anchors and all other warship necessaries were there in miniature; not even was the steering wheel missing. For as Mr Cooke himself, acting as engineer saw to the successful “propelling of the vessel”, his son, Warden, as Captain stood on the bridge and safely piloted the vessel at a speed hardly measurable in knots per hour, but nevertheless safely in its honoured position in the procession. Miss Irene Cooke represented “Britannia” on board the vessel and manifested to all that the Trident still remained in her grasp. A prettily decorated buggy emblematic of Australia followed, the proprietors of this being Mesdames R. Bryce and A. Webster. Then a number of “natives” and “swagmen” whose disguise was too perfect to discover the originals, representing “White Australia”, dragging an effigy of ex-Kaiser Bill behind them. A miscellaneous band, comprising accordions, mouthorgans, cornets, clarinets &c., whose music though more noisy than harmonious was nevertheless very cheering, followed. Mrs. Alf Skerman’s buggy load prettily decorated represented New Zealand, and Messrs Peters and Cole’s buggy representing Canada were subject to much favourable comment. The Rifle Club, as infantrymen, were not numerically strong, but compensated for this by in their originality in displaying a home-made cannon drawn by a tiny pony.

A bushmens contingent organised by Mr. R. Bryce com prising 30 horsemen followed, to be succeeded by what was second only to the “Sydney” display, the superbly decorated bullock wagon illustrating England and her dominions. The central figure in this, Great Britain, was Miss Lucy Brooker, while Miss Mona Cooke represented Miss Australia, Miss Florrie Flick Canada, Miss Maggie Brooker New Zealand, Miss Eva Foster India, Miss Emily Brooker South Africa and Bobby McLean dressed in kilts represented Scotland. This vehicle bore the inscription “As we stood United”, and a white dove on top represented Peace.

Messrs Brooker’s, Warne’s, and Bradley’s  decorated vehicles next represented red, white and blue. The musical wagon driven by Mr. W. Humphries was a very attractive feature. With a piano and a jolly band of singers aboard, it considerably enlivened the proceedings with “Rule Britannia, “La Marsellaise”, “Soldiers of the King” and other patriotic airs en route. Misses Bowen and Gorman’s representation of Italy in a motor-car was deserving of praise, while the originality of Mr. Dinning’s “Uncle Sam” display was a feature long to be remembered. Mr. Templeman’s buggy load of youngsters disguised as gypsies was also an item of interest, the idea originating with Mrs Hogan. Sixty school children on horseback, each possessing a flag and led by Master Len Porter carrying the big school Union Jack, looked very nice, maintained fine order, and gained well merited applause as they passed through the main street. Mrs. Rough’s tableau of “Peace” was quite emblematic, the family having paid considerable attention to detail in its preparations. India was represented by sons from her own soil in proper Hindoo dress. The Maleny Ambulance Brigade was represented by Mr. E. Tesch in the Maleny motor ambulance with a couple of ladies as Red Cross nurses. The tradesman’s vehicle was very appropriate to Maleny. Driven by Mr R. Rough, it conveyed Mr Jack Skerman’s Jersey Cow, “Hope”, illustrative of Maleny’s chief industry.

Other items were decorated bicycles of Messrs J. Thomason, F. Bate, and W. Dickens and decorated vehicles by Messrs A.W. Thomason and John Tytherleigh. The procession moved off soon after 11 a.m. and as it passed along the dusty streets the various items were heartily cheered by the numerous spectators. Upon arrival at the grounds, the whole procession was carefully drawn up in square formation, the “Sydney” being moored in the centre, it’s bridge being used as a platform for the speechifying.

Maleny RSL are calling a public meeting for May – please contact Chris Brooker on 0428 712 504 to find out more.