Tribute from Returned Soldiers’ Association

A playground is opened on Fifth Street, Murray Bridge, on Anzac Day of 1927. Visible across the street is the back of the Murray Bridge Hotel and a building now occupied by an op shop. Photo: Supplied.
A playground is opened on Fifth Street, Murray Bridge, on Anzac Day of 1927. Visible across the street is the back of the Murray Bridge Hotel and a building now occupied by an op shop. Photo: Supplied.

November 5, 1918 was the beginning of a campaign for the erection of a Soldiers’ Hall in Murray Bridge.

It was agreed to obtain particulars of the block of land that was to be auctioned at the rear of the post office, lot 55, the land that surrounds Fifth, Seventh and Fourth Streets.

The Honourable J Cowan was appointed to represent the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League (RSA).

The block of land was purchased for the sub-branch on September 18, 1919 at a cost of £25.

There were a number of plans submitted but there were limited funds secured for the purpose. 

At this time a public appeal for the funding of a Soldier’s Memorial Hospital began; the RSA decided not to interfere with this appeal, so there would be no appeal for funds for their hall.

In the meantime it was agreed to use the money already raised to construct a children’s playground on the major portion of the land and retain the small part for their clubrooms.

On April 25, 1927, Anzac Day, the children’s playground was opened and handed over to the Mayor and the corporation to control and maintain.

They agreed to maintain, control, repair and add as required.

The Anzac Park playground consisted of a giant stride, Roman swing ladder, horizontal and parallel bars, two sets of swings, a sand pit and a drinking fountain.

Miss Knight donated the entrance pillars and gates and Captain RM Randall donated the flag.

The members of the Murray Bridge sub-branch of the RSA had prepared the playground in respect of their comrades who had fallen.

They handed over the playground to the boys and girls of Murray Bridge as a tribute of their fallen comrades.

The Playground cost £400.

They could have devoted the money raised to the erection of their clubrooms – but chose the playground.

Murray Bridge and District Historical Society