On 26 October 2013, an often-overlooked aspect of Leichhardt's early travels in southeast Queensland was given renewed focus in metal and stone.
Woodford, an hour's drive northwest of Brisbane, nestles between the D'Aguilar and Conondale / Blackall Ranges. Much of the adjacent countryside was once part of the sprawling 'Durundur' station, settled by the Archer brothers in 1841 ~ the first European settlers in the district. Ludwig Leichhardt found his way there in 1843, and stayed at Durundur for eight months as he explored deep into the hinterland, before he set off on his great expedition in 1844.
The Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, Patron of the Royal Historical Society of Quensland, unveiled a statue dedicated to the Archers. Ms Wensley and Germany's Queensland Honorary Consul Professor Michael Schütz then unveiled a plaque recognising Leichhardt's time there.
Woodford and District Historical Society (WHS) played host, with support from Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC). WHS President Ron Trim and Secretary Ms Shirley Wallis welcomed Her Excellency and Professor Schütz, supported by MBRC Councillors Adrian Raedel, Gary Parsons and Greg Chippendale and other WHS office-bearers. Many from the local community and schools were present, including Ms Zenovia Pappas, who had curated a Leichhardt display in the Woodford Community Museum and Arts Centre.
It was reported that the the entertainment was lively, speeches short, and the weather fine and sunny ~ all undoubtedly appreciated by Prof. Schütz, who had returned from Germany only very early that same morning!
WHS secretary Shirley Wallis said the Archer memorial, created by Woodford sculptor Guy Robinson, was "outstandingly lovely." She said behind it would be the site of the Archer's homestead, Durundur, today on private land nearby. The inscription on the Leichhardt plaque reads: "On the 200th anniversary of his birth this plaque commemorates the explorations of Ludwig Leichhardt and his visit to Durundur Statiion in 1842. Unveiled by Professor Michael Schuetz, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany. 26 October 2013”.
The 'Durundur Monument' and Leichhardt plaque are located in Cruice Park on Kilcoy-Beerwah Rd, just off the D'Aguilar Highway.
Above: group photo following the unveiling of both memorials: sculptor Guy Robinson stands near
Her Excellency, with Honorary Consul Prof. Michael Schütz second from left, and WHS president
Ron Trim on the far right, flanking other WHS office-bearers and members of the local community.
Click on the image to see a larger version.
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