The First Anzac Day: Canon David John Garland

Whether getting up at the crack of dawn for the service, or remembering in silence those who fought and lost their lives in war – Anzac Day has become a huge part of our lives. But not many people think about how ANZAC Day came about or that the originator and architect of Anzac Day ceremonies and rituals – Canon David John Garland is buried in Toowong Cemetery.

Anzac Grave -Garland

Chaplain Lieutenant-Colonel David John Garland campaigned in Queensland for legislation so Anzac Day could be a public holiday for solemn commemoration which was achieved in 1921. Garland was also chaplain for soldiers assembled in Brisbane prior to embarkation from 1915 till late 1917. He then served as Chaplain in Middle East until 1919.

He developed special burial services for those laid to rest at cemeteries and raised funds for memorials to honour those who served, including management of the soldiers’ graves at Toowong Cemetery. He initiated the Anzac Day march, the returned soldiers’ luncheon, the two minutes silence, the wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials and the special church services. He also began a trust to use funds raised from selling Anzac Day badges and ribbons for the care of soldiers’ graves at home and overseas. The ceremonies ad badge were taken up in other States in Australia, in New Zealand and Great Britain. Garland inaugurated an ANZAC Day service at the cemetery in 1920.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Garland’s death, the Friends of Toowong Cemetery has facilitated the restoration of his grave as it will be the focus of visitation over the next four years during the commemoration of the centenary of World War One. Canon Garland’s grave was restored by Queensland Heritage Masonry funded by the Toowong Cemetery Heritage Fund established by Jack Sim.

On behalf of the Friends of Toowong Cemetery, we would like to invite you to observe the rededication of Canon Garland’s grave on Saturday 18 October 2014 at 2pm. The service, led by the Reverend Dr John Moses, will be followed by afternoon tea. Please enter Toowong Cemetery by the main gate and follow the directional signage to the grave site located in Portion One. RSVP not required.

Available for purchase on the day will be Anzac Day Origins: Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman Commemoration by Rev. Dr J Moses and Dr George Davis.

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Find out more on Australia’s longest running true crime show “True Crimes” – presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.

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