The Anzac Memorial's Constellation of Honour and Memory
Honour the Anzac Legacy and support NSW's principal memorial
The Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park was built to commemorate the courage, endurance and sacrifice of Australians from New South Wales during the Great War (1914–18). Tens of thousands of soldiers never returned home. They were often buried where they died on the battlefield. There was a recognised need for a lasting memorial in Sydney – a focal point for individual grief and communal remembrance.
On Anzac Day 1916 a public appeal was launched to raise money to build a state war memorial. By 1918 the people of NSW had donated £60,000. Fundraising efforts continued through the 1920s. However, with the onset of the Great Depression the flow of money to support the Memorial’s construction slowed to a trickle. To help cover the shortfall the RSL ran a campaign selling golden stars in the domed ceiling of the Memorial’s Hall of Memory for two shillings. 2/- was a substantial portion of a day’s pay in 1934. Despite the cost, large numbers of stars were sold adding vital building funds. The Memorial was opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 24 November, 1934.
As we mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War the NSW Government is enhancing the Anzac Memorial. Memorial architect Bruce Dellit’s original vison for a second cascading water feature that had to be abanoned because of the financial constraints of the Depression will finally be realised. New education and interpretation facilities will also be built. This $40 million Centenary Project is jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Commonwealth’s Anzac Centenary Public Fund and is due to be completed as Centenary of Anzac commemorations conclude in 2018.
Paying tribute to the 1934 fundrasing effort, the Anzac Memorial Trustees are running a star campaign to raise money for Centenary Project exhibitons and education programs. They want to ensure the Memorial is able to continue to play its vital role in telling the stories and sharing the history of NSW's involvement in military operations long into the future. Stars in a 360º photograph of the Memorial's Hall of Memory are being sold for $100. Purchasers are able to tag their star and leave a message in memory of a veteran. These personal tributes are displayed in the Constellation of Honour and Memory on the Memorial's website. NSW Centenary of Anzac Ambassador Olwyn Green recently purchased a star for her late husband Charlie. Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green was only 30 years old when he served and was killed in Korea.