Q ANZAC 100 visit to Roma
The Q ANZAC 100 team had the privilege to visit Roma late last year to run the Q ANZAC 100 regional workshops at the Roma Library.
Roma is the home of the heritage listed Roma Heroes Avenue to honour the local fallen soldiers. With the original plantings undertaken in 1918, more trees have been planted in side streets as further information becomes available.
Plaques have been placed at each tree providing information about that particular soldier and the Roma & District Historical Society holds details of all the servicemen represented.
While in Roma we visited the Roma State College and St John's Catholic School where Year 9 classes were able to see and handle some primary source materials relating to First World War and contribute to their understanding of this period in our history.
A number of history societies were represented at the workshop, including Roma & District Family History Society (Roma History Lodge), Chinchilla Museum, Miles Historical Village and Museum, Juandah Folk Museum and Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum. Each of these organisations is the custodian of unique First World War stories relating the district.
One workshop participant from the Juandah Folk Museum recently compiled a commemorative publication: Boys from the bush: Juandah District. Joycelyn Baker collated stories of 46 servicemen from Juandah, Gulugaba, Giligulgul, Gurulmundi and Woleebee Creek. Looking down the list of names, the entries for brothers George, Lewes, William and Frederick Golden struck me - Four sons of Frederick and Agnes of Bundi Station near Yeulba. Fortunately three of the 'boys' came home, only leaving Frederick behind having been wounded in action in October 1918. The other three continued pastoral pursuits on their return with George and Lewes becoming graziers and William a property manager.
Joycelyn has since been nominated by Juandah Heritage for a Senior Cultural Citizen award to be presented on Australian Day for her work in researching the soldiers. Congratulations Joycelyn.
During our workshops, it came to light that Joycelyn also had a connection to an unique letter held at the Queensland State Archives. She is the daughter of Basil Stubbs who wrote a letter to the Lieutenant-Governor of Queensland expressing his desire to help with the war effort. This letter is featured on the Queensland Government's ANZAC Centenary website where you can listen to the letter being read aloud by a similarly aged 15 year old.
- Queensland State Archives blog:A fifteen year old writes to the Governor: To the front I want to go!
- SLQ blog post by Brian Randall: Roma War Memorial
- Queensland State Archives Facebook post re Joy Baker
Niles Elvery, Regional Coordinator, Q ANZAC 100, State Library of Queensland