June 7, 2021
The centenary of the opening of Soldiers Road – on the Dalby side of the Bunya Mountains – was marked on Friday with a special celebration organised by members of the Bunya Mountains community.
A new memorial plaque, replacing a similar sign stolen several years ago, was unveiled and dedicated to the memory of the World War I diggers who built the road which climbed to almost Munros Camp.
“This road is called Soldiers Road because WWI returned soldiers became road builders and constructed the first road up the Bunya Mountains between 1919 and 1921, giving access to motor vehicles for the first time,” Bunya Mountains Community Association Inc secretary Carol Weekes said.
“With that first section completed (to within one kilometre of Munros Camp), the road was officially opened on May 28, 1921.
“In the past, the Bunya Mountains Natural History Association recognised the phenomenal road building efforts of the returned WWI diggers, and set out to find a way to honour and remember those achievements.
“Whilst the locals all knew this road as the Soldiers Road, there were no signs to establish that fact.
“The Natural History Association, with the help of the Council, had a sign erected at the foot of the road.
“A large stone was then erected with a brass plaque attached by Mr Phil Humphrys, of the Natural History Association, telling the story of the amazing work delivered by those soldiers.
“Unfortunately, this memorial to the soldier road builders was not respected by some members of the public, and sadly the brass plaque was levered from the rock and stolen a few years ago.
“To assist with the Centennial celebrations, Western Downs Regional Council replaced the plaque.
“Cr Kay Maguire, from the Western Downs Regional Council, addressed the gathering.
“The guest of honour at the celebrations was Mr Phil Humphrys, who some 30 years after unveiling the first plaque, unveiled the new plaque.
“The plaque was dedicated by Lutheran Bishop Emeritus, Rev Noel Noack.”
- Related article: Historic Plaque To Be Replaced