A sandstone bridge abutment adjacent to Victoria Bridge in the South Bank Precinct became a WWI memorial because of a 1918 home-coming tragedy.
Greek Australian 11-year-old Hector Vasyli was in the crowd cheering returning soldiers when he was struck and killed by a car in the parade. A marble memorial tablet was unveiled on 8 December 1918. It featured a bronze relief portrait of Hector, by sculptor Daphne Mayo.
When a decision was made to build a new bridge, it was decided to retain one abutment on the south side of the 1897 structure-the only bridge at that point able to withstand Brisbane River in flood. Leaving the neoclassical-styled remnant also fulfilled the Brisbane Greek community’s wish to maintain the memorial plaque for Hector.
During the 1969 demolition, the marble tablet was held by the Greek community. The bronze portrait was lost and replaced. The memorial was reinstated prior to ANZAC Day 1971.
A memorial service is held at this site on ANZAC Day.
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