Saturday, 18 May 2013

Torrens Parade Ground

Torrens Parade Ground
I set out at 8.30am, picked up Deidre and we made our way to the city. I got a free park near the Adelaide University which was great. The first tour we chose was one of the Torrens Parade Ground. This was a free guided tour and was very informative with about 15 others on the tour. We started off outside where we were given a history of the site and current building.

Originally, before white settlement, the site was once a riverside camping spot for the Kaurna People. The site then became a quarry and much of the stone used in the Governor’s residence and walls came from the ground here which is why the land drops suddenly from behind the walls of Government House. Then in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War it was the assembly point for the troops before they headed off in the ships to the battlefields abroad. Now the building houses History SA, the ex-servicemen groups RSL, the Airforce Association, Vietnam Vets and I think a couple more groups.

The building we see here now isn’t the original building, this one was built by the Commonwealth for South Australia’s Centenary in 1936. The building was handed over to the State Government about 10 or so years ago.

We then moved inside the building we viewed the wonderful 360 degree photographic panorama of the city of Adelaide from the late 1840’s (?). It is a must-see. We progresses upstairs where there are numerous honour boards from various RSL’s across the state. There is a flight simulator from the 1940’s that is still used today by pilots for training. I am sure they think it is a joke when told they will be using it, it so old and has a bit of a comical look about it! In the mess area there are trophies, memorabilia and an unexpected surprise, on the ceiling under glass is a most exquisite needleworked lace panel depicting the WW2 a totally unexpected item in a men’s mess room. This was the end of our tour. Next stop Government House.

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