We can only imagine how many thousands (or hundreds and thousands) of photographs have been taken of the Glenorchy War Memorial over the years as visitors have come to the community. The first pictures of the War Memorial come to us from the day of its dedication, on March 28, 1924. 

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According to the Lake Wakatip Mail of 25 March 1924, Lord Jellicoe, who was then the Governor General, came down to Queenstown via the TSS Earnslaw. He spent a day at Skippers visiting the mines and then came to Glenorchy where: 

            Lord Jellicoe will go to the unveiling of the Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial, which will be the main feature of the afternoon’s programme. 
On his arrival he will be entertained at luncheon by the people of Glenorchy. The Mayors of Queenstown and Arrowtown, the chairman and Councillors of the Lake County Council, and the pastors of the several churches have been asked to attend, while all returned soldiers and the public are cordially invited to be present at the unveiling. 

Deer-stalking in the Routeburn will engage his Excellency’s attention for the few days following. The party will make Paradise House their headquarters. 

The photos from the day show a very different view of Mull Street than we see today. While the Post Office (today’s G.Y.C.) was there already, the Hall wouldn’t be built until 1943 and for almost 20 years the memorial would have had an open view of the mountains beyond. It is interesting to note the dates on our memorial which are 1914 – 1920 to include those servicemen who died of Spanish Flu before they were permitted to return to the Head of the Lake.

According to the photos, Lord Jellicoe had some success on his deer stalking mission, as the last photo taken at Elfin Bay includes some trophies from their trip.

Today the War Memorial includes 25 names from both World Wars. In recent years, Vince Jones has added a panel that tells the stories of all of the men whose names appear on the memorial. Each year on Anzac Day, the community gathers to remember and honour the memories and histories of the people who served in the wars.

Next month we will bring you more street scenes of early days in Glenorchy; fewer houses but still a very bustling community on boat days.