Cottonvale was the beginning of the branch line constructed by the railways specifically for these men to market their produce in Brisbane or Sydney. The site has been donated as a memorial park by an Australian whose parents were migrants. He and his parents/family were grateful to be accepted by the local community – and have made a success of their farming and business.
The memorial must be large as this was the largest Soldier Settlement Scheme in Queensland
Must be larger in proportion to other figures. The returned men were heroes, and should be remembered as such. The Scheme was devised for them.
The man must show:
· hope for a successful future for he and his family,
· peace in the surroundings, which he found cathartic after battlefield chaos
· contentment at owning his own property,
· knowledge that the community is supportive and has welcomed him with open arms
In support of their husbands, the wives were an integral part of the success of creating the family dynasty. Many wives had waited for their husbands (some of them Anzacs) to return from war: then the family lived in primitive conditions to achieve their dream. These women should be remembered with the same respect given the men. They had worked for the Red Cross Society, Australian Comforts Fund, and later (1922) formed the QCWA with branches in Amiens and Cottonvale to fundraise and improve the lot of women who lived in these country areas. The returned men and their wives developed the fruit and vegetable industry significantly in the Granite Belt.
The Horse and Plough:
The tools required by the settlers to push their way into the bush to carve out a farm, a dynasty for the future generations
Where possible, the major construction of the memorial will include donated materials. The donations from the community replicate the time and effort invested by the Stanthorpe Shire Council and business leaders in preparing the Pikedale area for the first soldier settlers.
The only method of clearing the trees was using an axe and winch. This denotes the hard work required by these men. The axe over the shoulder of the man, as if holding his rifle whilst marching, confirms his military service
Granite rocks are part of the topography of this area, showing the difficulty in ploughing in readiness for planting crops. It is intended that the rocks form part of the plinth on which the settler and his family stand, giving strength and a solid grounding on which to build their future. The plan for granite rocks, or large hardwood logs, with smoothed seats for the rest area surrounding the memorial emulates the favourable reception of our returned heroes into the area.
These families had to build their own shelters, from bark, granite, or even flattened 4 gallon tins on arrival at their blocks. The shelter will enable visitors to enjoy a picnic or even a place for quiet contemplation and memories of their fallen comrades, as the Soldiers Memorial on Mt Marlay, Stanthorpe.