SDRC parks coordinator John Newley stands over one of the remaining plaques at Cunningham Memorial Park.
SDRC parks coordinator John Newley stands over one of the remaining plaques at Cunningham Memorial Park.

Past falls prey to march of time

THEY have weathered storms for decades, proudly marking a tangible reminder of the people who once lived, but the plaques at Cunningham Memorial Park west of Warwick have succumbed to nature and human interference.

Nestled in a bend of Cunningham Road, the small park displayed about 34 plaques, believed to name those from the area who died during wars abroad.

The plaques were originally located at the base of each tree, however the passing of time has meant many trees have perished, and some reminders are long gone.

Southern Downs Regional Council parks co-ordinator John Newley is entrusted with the park’s maintenance and said he wanted to ensure the remaining plaques were preserved and not further lost or damaged.

“About one-third of the plaques are missing and, in some places, the cement tablet has also completely gone,” Mr Newley said.

“I’ve asked around and it’s believed the plaques name people from the area who died in World War I and II.”

In the centre of the park are two stone cairns that honour Patrick Leslie’s Toolburra, Queensland’s first sheep station in 1840, and the area’s original pioneers.

The plaques dot one side of the perimeter of the park but there are gaping empty spaces, as many as 10, where the memorials for Cunningham’s fallen once stood.

“Who would want to take them? What would people do with the cement?” Mr Newley said.

“To protect the remaining plaques, we’ve built a fenced area in between the two cairns, where they can be safely relocated.

“We would take detailed notes, record and register where each plaque was located.

“But we don’t want to upset anyone.

“There’s not much information about the plaques and we’d appreciate any information from the public, especially on the missing plaques.”

If you have any information, phone Mr Newley on 0408 920 764.

Have your say: phone Eloise on 4660 1316 or email eloise.handley@warwickdailynews.com.au.



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