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Document, letter

From the Collection of Melbourne Legacy 293 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria

Description
A two page carbon copy of a letter typed on white quarto paper. Dated 2 May 1946, it is from Legatee Kemsley to the Editor of the Australian Municipal Journal in response to an article they had printed. Plus a page from the journal.
Size
255 x 205 mm, 3 pages
Object Registration
01186
Keywords
memorial
Historical information
The letter is Legatee Kemsley's response to an article published on 20 April 1946 discussing War Memorials. The article suggested that war memorials were better to be utilitarian, such as hospitals, parks and community centres. Legatee Kemsley's reply is that such necessary amenities should be provided but not as memorials of sacrifice. "The plain fact is that unless sacrifices and deeds of heroism and national patriotism are expressed in non-utilitarian memorials they lose then special significance they are designed to provide." "As a Trustee of the National War Memorial, I ask, what hospital or park could as fittingly provide a Mecca for for national solemnity, or rejoicing, or thanksgiving, as the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne?"
After the first world war there was a decision made to create a memorial. Legatees were involved in the process at various times and capacities. In particular Legatee Kemsley was vocal when the idea of the St Kilda Road site, which was favoured early on, was overturned and in 1926 there was pressure to change to a "provision of square" and Cenotaph at the intersection of Spring and Bourke Streets.
Legacy Clubs voiced their opposition to this proposal by passing a resolution "That the Melbourne Legacy Club, representative of the returned soldiers in business in this city, whilst welcoming the Anzac Square Scheme as a city improvement, cannot support it as a War Memorial scheme and affirms its support for the Shrine of Remembrance in the Domain as the only War Memorial worthy of Victoria's unparalleled efforts in the Great War."
The document was in an envelope with the History of the Shrine (01181). The envelope says 'The Origin of the Shinre of Remembrance p/p Legatees Kemsley and Joynt'. And the initial 'JMBA'?. It was in a file with other documents concerning the Shrine and it's history.
When Made
1946
Significance
This is a record of the debate that was occurring in 1946 about the appropriate way to commemorate the war. There was an effort to record historical events for the "Archive Committee" which collected this an other documents relating to the Shrine together in a file (see items 01181 - 01190)
Last updated
15 Apr 2019 at 3:46PM