NEW ROAD OFFICIALLY OPENED.
TRIBUTES TO DISCOVERER.
HISTORIC EVENT COMMEMORATED..
(By Our Special Representative.)
«Let us hope that in the years to come, as thousands upon thousands of Australians use this mountain highway, built en- tirely by voluntary workers, they will pause to think that they are treading in the paths first trodden by the illustrious Allan Cun- ningham, one of the greatest of all Australian explorers, and one to whom Queensland is especially indebted; and that the-example of his life, given almost entirely to the service of this great land, will inspire in them higher ideals of nationhood, and a desire to themselves to do something notable to further its progress."
Standing in the midst of glorious mountain scenery, beside the cairn erected to the memory of Allan Cunningham at the highest point of the new road from Brisbane to Warwick, in the shadow of the beetling crag of M t. Cordeaux, and facing a vista ' of wealth-producing country which extended away north-east-
wards until it faded into haze at a distance of over 60 miles, Sir Littleton Groom, K.C.M.G., K.C., himself a native-born pioneer of the Darling Downs, made this stirring appeal to Aus- tralian patriotism in the course of a speech when proposing the toast of "Our Country-Australia" on the occasion of the open- ing of the new road over Cunningham's Gap, which has been built as an enduring memorial to the work of the famous explorer whose name it bears, and Was opened on Saturday on the oc- casion of the centenary of his discovery of the Darling Downs.
When, on June 11, 1827, Cunningham saw, from an eminence of the northern ridge of the great dividing range, .the 'gap in the mountains which how bears his name, he determined to explore it as a possible route of communication be tween the Darling Downs and the coastal settlement at Moreton Bay. It was not until a year afterwards, however, that he was able to explore the gap between Mt. Cordeaux and Mt. Mitchell, and to show that it offered a practicable avenue of communication between the coast and the rich elevated pasture lands to the south-west. In the early days of colonisation, however, it was usual to follow the line of least resistance, and when it ivas discovered that it was possible, to skirt completely around the higher parts of the range at the expense of a journey of about 5O miles, the passage through the ranges was discarded, and it remained neglected for almost one hundred years, until the approach of the centenary of Cunningham's discovery of the Darling Downs moved a body of public-spirited citizens of that area, to inaugúrate a scheme for the building of a road in the wake of Cunningham's footsteps, and thereby to give definite shape to the vision which must hato possessed the mind's eye of tho explorer when he first explored the gap.
THE MOUNTAIN ROAD.
Although a tremendous amount of work has been done on it, and a great deal of expense incurred by those who have pioneered its construction, the road is still in an embryo state. Truly it is trafficable but the trip from Brisbane to Warwick is not one that any motorist who is not thoroughly skilful could be advised to undertake. With the Spicer's Gap road, it shares the disadvantages of being difficult to negotiate in many places, while help is always a long way away in
case of emergency. From Brisbane the road to Aratula is good, but when, a few milcs from this; township, the track leaves the roadway and winds through the foothills skirting the range, it be- comes more difficult, and for about ten miles it abounds in steeper pinches than are to be found on the climb up the range proper. From the Warwick end the approach lt the Gap is less difficult. After about 28 miles of good road and track of a couple of miles through the scrub leads lo the top of the gap. There is very little climbing in this section, the only difficulties to be surmounted being several creek crossings, which will most likely be spanned by bridges in the near future. On account of the beautiful views it discloses, and its proximity to Warwick. Cunningham's Gap is sure to command great -respect as a picnic ground for Down« residents, but a great deal remains to bo done before it can become a really
popular highway between Brishane and
The part of the road which has been built by the road committee is an engineerfng achievement, but it will need to bo given a deal of immediate atten- tion or it will certain disintegrate, and the results of all the valuable work which has been done will come to nought At it is, the foundation of a great scenic highway has been laid by a band of volun- tary workers at no expense to anybody but themselves, and it is clearly the duty of others to see that, the project is per- served with until the road, which has been dedicated to the memory of the great explorer, becomes one of the State's most renowned highways. The commit- tee has appealed to the Main Roads Com- mission to elaborate the construction work, which has been so nobly beggun, but it seems unlikely that any immediate help can be expected from this direction. It is immediate attention which the road needs, and so ¡t will be seen that the committee's work in not yet finished. However, the patriotic spirit which has made possible the work already done, will probably see the project carried to a
THE OPENING CEREMONY.
The clearing at the top of the gap pre- sented a gay appearance before the open- ing ceremony. In front of the memorial cairn was a table set for an al fresco luncheon, at which the notable visitors were to be entertained. From the cairn to the top of the- road was an avenue decorated with bunting and fronds of the beautiful vegetation with which the sur- rounding scrub abounds. Through this avenue the first car to traverse the road were to proceed. At 1-30 p.m. the Mayor of Warwick (Alderman Daniel Connolly) took the chair, and the lun- cheon commenced. After the toast of "Theo King" had been honoured, ."the 'toast, of "Our Country-Australia" was proposed by Sir Littleton Groom (Speaker of the House of Representa- ves), who paid tribute to the efforts of the voluntary band of workors who not only had built the road, but had shouldered the greater part of the expense incurred in its construction. He went on to detail the wonderful progress which had been made during the past century by Australia, and more especi- ally by the State of Queensland, stating that this State's present prosperity could be placed to a great extent to the credit of Allan Cunningham, whose historical discovcry of the Darling Downs was the
first great step in the settlement of the
AN EXAMPLE TO OTHER8.
The Acting Premier (Mr. W, Forgan Smith), in declaring the road open for traffic, complimented those concerned in the development of the road, and the voluntary workers who had sacrificed months of (spare time in the actual build- ing. An example had been set which should be followed by others in an en- deavour to secure a road suited to modern traffic conditions. He stressed the fact that the new road brought Warwick with- in 90 miles of Brisbane, and that on this account it should appeal not only to tourists but also to those concerned in the transport of goods. In outlining
the difficulties with which the Main Roads Commission was faced in it's en- deavour to build a network of good roads, he pointed out that, on accont of its scattered population, Queensland was very severely handicapped, even with liberal assistance, which had been avail- able by the Federal Government. He pointed out that a £1,000,000 programme had been embanked upon by the board, and by far the major portion of this sum would have to be borne by State
The Acting Premier was then convey- ed over the road in the first car, which was driven by Mr. R. C. Brett, The car was proceeded to the top of the Gap by a procession of the voluntary work- ers. The other passengers in the lead- ing cars were: Alderman Connolly, Sir Littleton Groom, Messrs. V. Davoney, G. R. Kemp (Chairman of the Main Roads Comssion), and G. P. Barnes, M.L.A. The following cars joined the procession:-No. 2 car, occupied by Messrs. M. C. P. White (driver), D. A. Crawford, A. G. Maddox, Alderman J D. Annand (Mayor of Toowoomba), and J.E. England (secretary, Main Roads Board); No. 3 car, occupied by Messrs A. C. Redgwell (driver), H. Eizcnbcrg, T. W. Webber, P. M'Mahon, and J. J. Kidncr; No 4 car, occupied by Messrs. E.F. Etheridge (driver), S. D. Galletly, P. G. Neibling, W. Deacon, and T. O'Shea; No 5 car. occupied by Mr. L. B.S. Reid (driver), Major Costcllo, Messrs, T. Eather, Eckersley, and T. A. Howell.
UNVEILING THE CAIRN.
The cars went down the Gap-road and ascended again, followed by several cars which had come from Brisbane with the intention of using the new road for a trip to Warwick. Upon the return to the summit the crowd assembled around the memorial cairn, which Alderman Con- nolly called upon the Acting Premier to unveil. Before the ceremony, Alderman Connolly briefly outlined the activities of the committee responsible for the building of the road. The first pres-
(Contlnued on page IS.)
THE GAP ROAD,
(Continued from pago 13.)
tical stop was taken by Meters. F. Dave ney and H- C. Brett, who 6"rveyed the road from both sides, and reported their progress to Mc. G. 1'. Barnes. M.L.A. and that gentleman lost no time in organ- ising a committee. That body carno into being at Easter, 11)26, and the following office-bearers were appointed:-Chairman, Aid. D. Connolly (Mayor of Warwick); treasurer, Mr. J. J. Kielner; secretary, Mr. M- P. G. .White; committee, Messrs. G. P. Barnes, B. C. Brett. II. Eizenborg, S. D. Galletly, and T. W. Webber, with Mr. Neibllng looking after the commibtee'ö in- terests from the other sido of the moun itain. Quick progress was maele, and in
a, little over a year it was possible to opeu tie road, and thus fittingly commemorate the centenary of Cunningham's discovery of the Down6.
In proposing' the toast, "To the Memory of Allan Cunningham, Botanist and Ex- plorer, tho Centenary of the Discovery of the Darling Down', and of this Mountain Highway," immediately after unveiling the memorial cairn, winch has been erected at the highest point of the road over the Gap, the Acting Premier outlined the his- tory of tho discoveries of Cunningham, und their far-readiing effect on the de- velopment of tho country. It was the ox Elord's mouicutoii,, discovery où the
lowns which <-avcd Queensland from be- coming a penal settlement, and which made beparation possible. He dwelt upon the noble courage of the man in whose honour the cairn had been erected and the road over the mountain built, and ap- pealed to Australians to follow the ex- ample set in those distant times by this great mau. Australian history was taught in our schools with tho object of encour ogma; growing Australians to follow the works of the pioneers, to glory in theil exploits, and to emuItUe Ide spirit of self sacrifice and patriot'sm which made them endure untolel harelships for the sake of their country's welfare. "This occasion," ho said, "might be taken as opportune for an appeal for a finer appreciation of Australia's horitagc, which would fit us the better to tako our place amongst th» great nations of tfie world."
The following toast list was then hon- oured:-"Commonwealth and State Parlia- ment of. Queensland," proposed' by Mr. J. J. Kidncr; "Voluntary Workers, Donors and Contractors," proposed by Mr.^-G. P. Barnes, M.L.A. ; "Local Authorities," pro posed^by Mr, T. W-. Webber, ai)d respond-1* ed to by Aid. J. D. Andana (Mayor of Toowoomba); "The Visitors," proposed by Cr. P. M'Mahon, Chairman, Glengallan .Shira Council;-"'The'Tress," proposed by Mr. R. C. Brett; "The Chairman," pro- posed by Mr. H. Eizenberg.
The Royal Automobile Club was repre- sented at tho ceremony by the president (Mr Goo. Rees), while others present nt (he gathering included:-Messrs. E. T. Bell (M.L.A. for Fassifern) and Major E Costello (M.L.A. for Cunningham). About 50 car« from Brisbane, Ipswich^ Boonah,
Kalbar, and other towns in the Fassifern district assembled at the foot of the range, being parked under the care of an R.A.C.Q. patrol, while a similar ntiuibtir of care were parked «t the summit, under the supeuvifiion of Superintendent Rich- mond, of the R.A.C.Q. car attendant ser-