Roger Willis and Alec Harslett out at the Amiens Legacy Centre. Picture: Matthew Purcell
Roger Willis and Alec Harslett out at the Amiens Legacy Centre. Picture: Matthew Purcell

Multimillion-dollar dream for historic memorial

THERE’S bold plans brewing out at Amiens as the legacy centre gets prepared for the next phase.

On Remembrance Day, November 11, 2018, stage one of the Amiens Legacy Centre was unveiled to the public.

The centre was built as an ode to the region’s soldier settler history, with historic memorabilia on display.

Now the selfless volunteers behind the initiative are planning for what’s next.

“We’ve always seen this as being stage one,” Roger Willis from the Amiens History Association said.

The centre operators will link with the Apple and Grape Festival in coming weeks to provide tours.

In late March they’ll welcome Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, for a mural unveiling.

On July 26 they’ll commemorate the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales, who opened the Amiens railway line in 1926.

“We asked the current Prince of Wales, Charles, to attend but he declined,” Mr Willis said.

But looking further down the line, Mr Willis says they have plans that will make them a must-see destination for Australian history buffs.

They want to incorporate a tin mining sluice on site.

“Kids like it and adults like it because you get your hands dirty and there’s that eureka moment if you find something,” he said.

They’ve also opened discussions about building an ‘architecturally striking’ complex.

“We have stage two which is quite a fancy building which we’re trying to get traction for and people interested.

“We’ve got a concept and know what functionality the building should have to get the (soldier settlers) story across.

“The story of the soldier settlements and tell it in the form of a cyclorama.

“The sequence of events and history of Amiens would be depicted in a circle and there would be a progression of events as you go around.

“It would have a wow factor. You’d be looking at really quite spectacular scenes in every direction.

“It wouldn’t just be painted on the wall as a mural … it would be three dimensional.”

Mr Willis said it’s a multimillion-dollar dream but one they believe is attainable with the right support.

“We have architects giving us some concepts and, like all architects, they’re very grand plans and probably impractical but some of the ideas are very striking.

“It’s a long game thing that we’ll have to work at over many years.

“We have lots of projects and we’ll just keep picking them off,” he said.

The centre is located at 15 Golfields Rd, Amiens.

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