The idea for the original Ryde cenotaph was born in 1966 when RSL Sub Branch members and local Aldermen came together and identified the need for a memorial to perpetuate the memory of Australian Soldiers that have participated in various theatres of war.
Located a short distance from the Civic Centre, the cenotaph was officially dedicated on the 16 April 1967. Made from granite and set on a stepped granite dais, it carried the insignia of the three armed services together with the words ‘LEST WE FORGET'. The central feature being an eternal flame set in a bronze bowl.
Construction works in the civic precinct in 2007 necessitated finding a new position, and with cooperation from local RSL sub branches a new cenotaph was designed and a space created in Ryde Park for its location.
The new cenotaph cradles a central obelisk in granite pointing towards eleven o'clock. A permanent shadow in the granite paving engraves the history of service by men and women stretching the imprint of the obelisk to the insignia wall. Within the body of the obelisk a light source evokes the eternal flame. This memorial as a formal threshold to Ryde Park is energised both by ceremony and the everyday circulation of people within its sacred space.
Added to the original three armed services insignia is the Merchant Navy emblem.
Granite portions from the original cenotaph have been incorporated as symbolic references.
Ryde Park Memorial Cenotaph was rededicated on 20 February 2008 by Reverend Greg Burke from St Anne's Ryde Anglican Church and Father Paul Monkerud from St Charles Borromeo Parish Ryde, and opened by Councillor Ivan Petch, Mayor City of Ryde.
Project Partners: North Ryde, Ryde, Gladesville and Eastwood RSL Sub Branches.
Project Funding: City of Ryde and Bevillesta Pty Ltd
Project Artists: Milne and Stonehouse