A Silhouette of Alexander Munro, Ipswich Parks Curator from 1882 to 1909 was installed on Wednesday 17 April 2019 in Queens Park. This is the first silhouette installed by Ipswich City Council to mark places of historical interest in a visually engaging way.
Alexander Munro was born in Scotland and trained on the Duke of Sutherland’s estate at Dunrobin Castle where he specialised in topiary art. He ended up as a horticulturist and was to go to Kew Gardens but decided to move to Australia instead. He emigrated to join his brother who was working at Talgai East Station near Allora. There he met his wife‐to‐be, Mary Ann Armstrong who was from County Armagh in Ireland. Alexander and Mary Ann married in Warwick when he was 35 years old. After their marriage, they went to the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane where Alexander was second in-charge.
One of Alexander's first projects was the landscaping of the Wickham Terrace Gardens and Albert Park. He was also in charge of the Bowen Park acclimatisation gardens opposite the present Royal Brisbane Hospital. In approximately 1880 he worked for Captain Charles Hope at Wellington Point.
Alexander was appointed as the Ipswich Park Curator in 1882. After taking up the position he supervised the first glasshouse or hothouse in the park. He was very interested in the propagating of dahlias, particularly a red and white striped one which was named after him. He landscaped the Lovers’ Walk and planted additional Bunya pines.
His family believe that Alexander planted the trees down the driveway of Girls’ Grammar School. When the Council insisted he retire in 1909, he was not happy about this and said that "if he had known it was a temporary job, not a permanent one, he never would have taken it". By this time, he had been employed there for 28 years and was in his mid‐70s.
Further information is available in Memories of Queens Park, Ipswich (Oral History interview) with Amelia Francis on the Picture Ipswich Website.
Copies of Heritage Trails are available for download below, or from the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre, 14 Queen Victoria Parade Ipswich, telephone (07) 3281 0555. Click on the links below for further information.
The new Children's Heritage Trails complement the existing 'Then and Now' Heritage Trail series, which are more suited to older students and adults. Each Children's Trail includes six to seven stops making the walks manageable for school aged children and their teachers or parents.
The People, Places and Events trails complement the Then and Now Heritage Trail series. The main point of difference with the three trails is that a prominent person or an event is associated with a place identified in one of the trails.
The Queens Park Audio audio tour is being provided as part of the popular Ipswich Heritage Trails program and is available as a free dowload. For further information click on the link below.
In the 1999-2000 financial year, the Ipswich City Council implemented a Historical Marker project to promote public awareness of identified places of cultural heritage significance within the City. This new initiative was launched on Sunday, 22 October 2000 at St Francis Xavier Church at Goodna as a part of the Ipswich Heritage Program.
131 historical markers have been installed throughout the city since the program commenced.
The goal of the project is to endeavour to interpret more fully the spectrum of Ipswich's history through interpretative plaques that are easily accessible to the public. Initially, a structured approach to placement of plaques was adopted with markers being allocated to either individually identified places or places on one of the 'Then & Now' Heritage Trails. The owners or responsible bodies of the selected sitesare contacted with regard to text and placement of the historical markers.
The standard Ipswich Historical Marker is a cast brass plaque, 400mm wide x 400 mm high with raised gold letters on a brown background mounted on a post and bracketone metre above the ground.
The historical markers are located where they are clearly visible to people in both a seated and standing position and are located in the height zone for comfortable viewing between the average standing viewing zone and the average sitting viewing zone. The zone of common reach is between 700 and 1200 millimetres and the zone of common viewing is between 1200 and 1700 millimetres.
The Ipswich Heritage Adviser provides advice regarding the suitable placement of historical markers on heritage sites.