Bob McInnes Memorial Garden

Location of Bob McInnes Memorial Garden

Caloundra RSL sub-branch, 19 West Terrace
Caloundra QLD 4551

In 2019 the Bob McInnes Memorial Garden, located east of the Caloundra RSL building and next to Third Avenue, includes a range of elements – most noticeably a restored RAAF Iroquois ‘Huey’ helicopter, A2-1022, high-set on a metal mounting frame.

The entrance, at the southwest corner of the memorial garden, passes between two grey masonry walls, with timber framing above. The southern wall includes a 2015 dedication plaque, while the northern wall includes plaques to the multiple conflicts acknowledged by the memorial garden.

From the entrance, a paved path leads east towards another grey masonry wall, bearing the RSL Badge, set behind a flagpole. To the south of this path is a timber-framed open shade structure, while to the north is the RAAF helicopter (dedicated as a memorial 16 March 2012), with a stone cenotaph to its west. At the base of the helicopter’s mounting frame are small metal plaques in memory of seven members of RAAF 9 Squadron.

The cenotaph has a 2013 dedication plaque and two RSL plaques on its west side; and the bronze crests of the RAN, Australian Army, RAAF, Merchant Navy and the Australian Women’s Services on its east side, above the text ‘Lest we forget’. Two written inscriptions are set into the pavement south of the cenotaph.

The west, south and east sides of the southern section of the gardens are edged by hedges, fences and manicured gardens. There are also a number of bench seats set around the gardens.

Two 40mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft guns, used by Australian forces from the Second World War until the 1960s, are located at the southern corners of the garden; while a third Bofors is located further north, adjacent to Third Avenue.

A path leads northwards from near the helicopter, bisecting an area of trees and manicured gardens. On the east side of the south end of the path is a grey masonry wall, with plaques to a number of military units and organisations, while there are two more grey masonry walls further north along the path (the first with a plaque to all those who served or are serving in the RAN, and a plaque for RAN 816 Squadron).

In the garden west of the path, three plaques to war animals are set on a stone. Nearby are metal silhouettes of two military serviceman and a military dog. A ship’s anchor (from a Balikpapan Class Heavy Landing Craft) is set in the garden east of the path, along with a stone and plaque dedicated to the late Robert ‘Bob’ McInnes; plus a stone with a plaque dedicated to those veterans lost to suicide.

A ‘Pillar of Peace’ is set to the east of the north end of the path. A silhouette of a military nurse, next to a memorial stone and plaque to the Vyner Brooke Tragedy, is located in the garden to the north of the pillar. At the north end of the path is a tree propagated from the pinecone brought back from Gallipoli by SGT Keith McDowell of the 24th battalion, AIF. There are other small circular gardens in this area.

There is a metal-fenced pedestrian access way to Third Avenue on the east side of the garden. Further north is an open grassed oval, with manicured gardens to its east and west.

Inscription

(On plaque on west side of cenotaph)

Caloundra Memorial Gardens
Caloundra RSL honours the members of the local community who
have served in the Australian Defence Forces during war and
peace, especially those who made the supreme sacrifice.
We acknowledge those veterans who survived and helped build
the Australia we enjoy today.

LEST WE FORGET

Unveiled by Paul Forsyth,
President RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District,
11 November 2013

 

 (on plaque on southern wall of entrance)

Caloundra RSL Sub Branch Memorial Gardens

Officially opened on 25 April 2015

Conflicts commemorated
  • First World War, 1914–1918
  • Peacekeeping, 1947–present
  • Second World War, 1939–1945
  • Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960
  • Korean War, 1950–1953
  • Japan (BCOF), 1945–1954
  • Indonesian Confrontation, 1962–1966
  • Vietnam War, 1962–1972
  • Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • Somalia, 1992–1994
  • Unit memorials
  • Other
Memorial type
Place
Commemorative services held

Anzac Day Morning Service and Wreath Laying on 25 April organised and managed by Caloundra RSL Sub Branch

Remembrance Day Service and Wreath Laying on 11 November organised and managed by Caloundra RSL Sub Branch

Memorial Services conducted for deceased veterans throughout the year managed by the Caloundra RSL Sub Branch

Memorial Garden is also utilised by various Ex–Service Organisations for dedication ceremonies throughout the year and managed by the Caloundra RSL Sub Branch

Additional information

The Memorial Garden and Helicopter restoration was the brainchild of the late Bob McInnes, with the first stage being unveiled on 11 November 2013. Following further construction, the garden was officially opened on 25 April 2015. The garden was renamed to Bob McInnes Memorial Garden in memory of Bob’s death, Bob died on 27 March 2018.  The landscape architect was Continuum Landscape, Builder was Andrew Clarke. There was no masonry work carried out. The RAAF Helicopter  (an original Long Tan ‘Huey’) was recently transported to a Gold Coast Film Studio and used as a prop in the filming of the movie: “Danger Close – The Battle of Long Tan” a major feature film based on a true story of young, untested boys under fire.

The Bob McInnes Memorial Garden is maintained by Mr Phil Moore, volunteer from the Caloundra RSL Sub and Peter Tramacchi, staff member of the Caloundra RSL Services Club.

Recorded by
Heather Christie, Secretary of the Caloundra RSL Sub Branch
Date recorded
24 March 2019

Nearby memorials

List all 16 memorials within postcode 4551.