Jezzine Barracks, Townsville

After everyone was up and about we decided to go to the Jezzine Barracks. The area was originally know as Kissing Point but after the military moved in the name was changed. I don’t know why. I like the name “Kissing Point.” The military moved out in 2006 and in 2009 the area was handed over to the town of Townsville. The town then created a lovely heritage precinct.

 We started at the rock pool and headed up the mountain. Overlooking the bay is a large “Rising Sun” a symbol of the Australian Army. Our military has worn the Rising Sun on their uniforms since 1902. It might have started as a badge to signifiy which country the person came from but over time the Rising Sun has come to be identified with the spirit of the ANZAC’s and Australia. For me it was impressive. Inscribed along the curved edge of the work are the mottos of units associated with Jezzine Barracks. Mottos like “Always ready to defend” “Forever Forward” “Duty and Honour.”

Originally the barracks consisted of two guns installed in 1885 and an underground storage for the artillery and shells. Later machine-guns and a parade ground were added along with searchlights.

Further up the mountain stands a sculpture. The words carved into it come from a live ABC news show being broadcasted at the time Townsville was being bombed by the Japanese in 1942. The broadcast happened on the third raid early in the morning, it describes how the searchlights found the attacking aircraft and the sound of the bombs and the sound of the anti-aircraft guns. Only one bomb hit ground, breaking windows in nearby houses, the rest landed inoffensively in the sea.

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At the top, information boards are dotted along the walkway on a large map across the ground. My sister and I were reading the information when she turned to me and said “I didn’t realize Townsville was bombed.” I told her I only found out about the bombing when I visited Darwin. I don’t know if not knowing reflects on us or on our school system. Or maybe it is just the passing of time. ‘Lest we forget.’

There was a plaque for all the women involved with the war. Nice touch. Women are often missed when it comes to anything military.

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The view from the top was spectacular. You could see for miles not that I paid much attention to it as I was more interested in the information boards.

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As we were walking down the other side of the hill I detoured off to have a quick look at the casemates. They were built between 1889 and 1891 into the side of the hill and comprises of 3 fortified rooms. I didn’t try the doors but I would guess they would have been locked. Later I wished I had just incase, I could have missed a great opportunity.

town-bar-11 I followed some steps down and ended up in amphitheater. I don’t know where everyone else was so I had to go look for them. Silly people getting lost like that. I eventually found them on the other side of the hill at the start of a sculpture garden, which leaded into a Britannica garden.

The first sculpture was classified as a sentinel and is titled “Coming Together.” If you stood in the middle of the sentinel you heard a brief history about the people of the area. The next one was further down the hill; it gives you a different way to look at the sea.

In Western Australia we have a dreamtime snake called the Wagyl (or the Rainbow Serpent. His image is seen on a lot of walking trail in WA)

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The Wagyl is said to be responsible for the creation of the Swan and Canning Rivers, basically the Wagyl is responsible for the landscape of the area of Perth and South West of the state. It was interesting to learn Townsville has Gabul.   Gabul created the landscape of Townsville in the same way the Wagyl created the countryside of the Perth area. town-sc-6

The sculptures started to mix in with the garden.

I found the Britannica garden fascinating. Next to the main plants was a little narrative about how it was used for food by the local people.

I was pleased to find my favorite plant the Kapok Tree. The seedpods had turned brown and had started to open. No wonder the fibre was used for stuffing. It is so soft and silky.

We took a couple of hours just walking and reading. Like I said it was fascinating. It has been put on my list of “would like to see again.”

What do you do when you have spent most of the morning walking around looking at the ocean; you go have lunch at a restaurant beside the sea.

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