Architect reveals story behind grand monument
THE ARCHITECT behind the design of the Ipswich Rosewood Coalminers Memorial has revealed the concept behind the magnificent completed memorial.
Liam Proberts, of Bureau Proberts Architects, was a happy man as he gazed at the two Ipswich and Rosewood stratigraphic columns and the memorial wall at Limestone Park on Sunday at the official opening.
Everyone the QT spoke to agreed that what we have now is the appropriate tribute.
"Coalmining has been such a strong part of building this community and there was a bit of a risk that it would be forgotten that Ipswich was built on the back of mining, and coalmining in particular," Mr Proberts said.
"So we felt it was important to have a landmark structure and a memorial where the 186 men and boys who lost their lives could be remembered.
"We really think it does have a dual purpose - for Ipswich and Rosewood."
There were challenges.
"The important thing was to remember each and every individual who lost their lives in the mines and to give them the position and reverence they deserved," Mr Proberts said.
"So the form of the wall goes year by year. It also tell a bit of a story of mining in the region in general over the course of history.
"Thinking about that was challenging, but when you come up with a solution that you think represents that and everybody gets on board that is really pleasing.
"That is part of the design process, to bring that to culmination.
"The other important bit was the columns themselves and representing what mining meant to this region.
"That was a bit controversial. Not everyone thought that the idea of having structures as part of a memorial was the way to go.
"But the Ipswich Rosewood Coalminers Memorial Trust was right on board with it and thought that was the way to go.
"Then there was the challenge of getting it built in time frame and on budget.
"These things don't happen without a lot of persistence, tenacity and patience and a really good sense of camaraderie and good will between everyone.
"I am pleased it has the right level of respect for the miners and I feel, and hope, that it is going to create enough of a talking point for the miners, and the men and boys on the wall, to be remembered into the future.
"Everyone seems to have embraced the concept and the idea, including all the mine workers and the people who visit."