Brisbane, QLD

Friday, December 16, 2011


After the thrilling visit to Shark Bay WA were on our way back to Perth but we stayed overnight at Geraldton.
 This little flower was growing on the beach at Monkey Mia.

 This tour was called the 'Western Wildflower Wonderland Tour' so the bus often stopped for us to photograph the huge variety of wildflowers. (Luckily there wasn't much traffic on the road.)

 In the afternoon we pulled into the coastal port town of Geraldton. We were taken to Mt Scott where the HMAS Sydney ll Memorial is situated. The HMAS Sydney ll often visited Geraldton. In 1940 she went to war in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. She fought many battles. In 1941 her last encounter was with the German ship Kormoron, masquerading as a Dutch ship in the Indian Ocean. Sydney was sunk and all 645 men were lost. The Kormoron also caught fire and sank and there were survivors who were interned in Australia.
 There are 5 elements to the memorial.
(1) The Dome of Souls comprising of 645 stainless steel seagulls to represent the men lost.
It overlooks the town and the Indian Ocean. There is a podium with the nautical compass and a propellor from a ship. This is where wreaths are laid.

(2) The Waiting Woman Sculpture represents anxious mothers looking over the ocean waiting for the return of their sons serving on the Sydney.
 This wonderful statue and the look on her face brought tears to my eyes as I thought of the agony mothers and wives must have endured. It also reminded me of how the mothers and relatives of the men overseas at war now must be feeling. I wonder will there ever be an end to wars?

(3) The Steel monument is symbolic of upright gravestones and it is a stainless steel representation of the prow of the HMAS Sydney ll. It is best viewed from the front (I have since read) but silly me didn't get that shot.

(4) The Remembrance Wall where all the names and photos of the men and ship are shown.

(5) The Remembrance Pool which I didn't see. (I must have been looking in the wrong direction). It has 644 seagulls on the bottom of the pool and the 645th seagull is flying with its wing tip pointing down into the water to where the ship is lying. 

The Sydney and the Kormoron were found on the bottom of the ocean in 2008.


  1. Tear making stuff indeed. This is surely one of the best memorials in Australia.

  2. Another post, another revelation. That statue of a woman waiting is one of those that capture the imagination.

  3. beautiful flower in the first foto, my favorite today is the bus and the road. looks like frameable art to me

  4. As always enjoying the flowers. The first one is very interesting. That memorial is stunning and oh so well thought out. I love that there are so many elements to it each with special meaning and not just a wall with many names. Thank you for sharing that.

  5. A very moving post.What a loss of lives. I think the older your are the more you realize the impact of history and the tragedies when you visit such places. I have been on the invasion beaches and the cemetaries in France and it moved me to tears too. The memorial is very beautiful and symbolic.

  6. What an amazing monument. No wonder you were moved to tears. xx

  7. The use of the seagulls to form the Dome of Souls is lovely and unusual. What a thoughtful, personal monument to the men lost at war.

  8. The statue of the mother grabs a piece of my heart, it's so touching. The memorial is amazing, it's sickens me to think about the wasted lives due to war, enough already!

    I love your flower shots, they are so refreshing to see. Have a great day!

  9. So glad I found your blog. Seeing sites I never even heard of.
    This memorial is truly moving. One of the most truthful statements I've seen concerning the humanity (or lack of it) the wars have possessed.

  10. You truly did have a lot of wonderful opportunities to see the most beautiful wildflowers! Such a fun trip! This memorial to the men killed at sea must have been difficult to see. I know how I felt when I visited Pearl Harbor. The statue of the mother really is gut wrenching isn't it? Someone once said that if they put mothers in charge of countries, there would never be another war.

  11. what a lovely post.
    when you see the beauty around us it makes you think, why?

  12. Incredibly heart moving memorial.
    I think it is the best I have ever seen - the sculpture of that mother looking out to see. Certainly brings tears to one's eyes.
    Thank you Diane for showing these photos to make us pause and think.
    Colin (HB)

  13. So sad, thanks for the beautiful images Diane.

    Geraldton is on my list (it's so long) of places to get to in 2012. I think it's only about 4 hrs away. My neighbours used to live there, and still visit family regularly. The 2 teenage girls groan and sigh and roll their eyes when they are told they are driving up to see the relos....

  14. What a beautiful and touching memorial to so many men who lost their lives. Thanks once again for taking us on tour with you Diane. You certainly saw some wondrous wild flowers!

  15. This is a very beautiful and moving monument. The Waiting Woman Sculpture is poignant. Thanks for sharing this with us, and thanks, too, for sharing the beautiful wildflowers.

  16. Beautiful memories of our country.
    Your photos are lovely and the lady looking out to sea is very moving to view and in reality :)

  17. Oh My Heart.... I can just see the mothers/families standing there hoping their loved ones would come home. That is just sad! What a fabulous memorial though... I'm SO impressed.
    Gorgeous wildflowers also!!!

  18. I'm kinda late with responding to comments... but Yes, I probably do need a sheep dog to protect those sheep! :-) Doesn't Australia have some of the best dogs for that job? Have you and Bill ever gone on an Australian ranch working vacation.. Oops, not ranch... Station.

  19. To GardensofDaisies.

    In reply to your question - yes, we do have the best sheep dogs in the World in Australia - the "kelpies" - they are exported overseas, by two means - as dogs and as semen. We also have the best cattle dogs in the World - "The blue healers" - also exported overseas by the same method.
    Both breeds are the most faithful of dogs to their owners, exceedingly protective of their territory and owners. Believe you me, and I know, they will lay down their lives to protect those who look after them on "stations" or as you say "ranches".
    Trust that this answers your query?

  20. The memorial is stunning, what a fitting tribute to all those lost on the Sydney. I'm sure there were many women who waited hopefully for their loved ones to return. That is so very sad.

  21. What beautiful wild flowers, I love wild growing flowers more than all others. The memorial is very special what an artist who had this idea and the Sculpture of the waiting mother looks so real ! Very touching.

  22. What a wealth of fab images in this post. The flower on the beach is so lovely and all those pink cats tail type flowers are stupendous. As for the monument and the waiting woman .... I can see why you were moved.

  23. Hi Diane, what a great post! From the beautiful wildflowers to the wonderful memorial. The dome is a beautiful tribute to the men that were lost and the seagull over the pool is just beautiful. And the statue of the women is very touching and sad. I am sure any relative of the men lost would be very proud of this memorial. Wonderful photos and post. Have a great weekend!

  24. I agree with others, a great post!
    The Waiting Woman sculpture is amazing. I'm crazy about this kind of art.
    Happy weekend!

  25. Great post!

    Very interesting to see new sides of Australia. Thank you!

  26. The flowers in the red clay ground are amazing. Visiting a memorial is always very emotional.


  27. I love that statue. Looks so real.

  28. The floweres are lovely...and the monuments are breathtaking!!!
    Hug you!

  29. I'm doing a little blog hopping and came over form Gattina writers cramp. When I first saw the letter WA I thought you where from the State of Washington in the United States.
    Nothing is in bloom here. Actual for winter weather it been mild.
    I have to say you do have some great is on.

  30. The wild flowers you saw on this tour were all beautiful,Diane.

    The Memorials are very touching. The mother's face expresses so much universal pain and despair


  31. love the statue of a womon waiting is really touching.

    gorgeous flower shot! (#1 photo).

    what a delightful post!

  32. Each part of that memorial is beautiful, but the statue of the waiting mother is the part that brought tears to my eyes. For all the reasons you mention.

    On the beautiful wildflowers, for a minute I thought that the top photo was of sea anemones -- they look like those.

  33. I have seen this now. It is very much like the photograph, I agree. I guess that loss, and the prosp[ect of loss, is a stark emotion.