A little history on this well known wedding location.
The earliest buildings at Victoria Barracks were built by soldiers in the late 1850s, with the original bluestone buildings being constructed between 1856 and 1872. A large extension was made to officers’ quarters in 1917 but with the growth of service personnel and civilian staff at the beginning of the Second World War, space was at a premium.
Victoria Barracks was the administrative headquarters for the Australian Army but to ensure the close coordination of the three services necessary to the war effort, the Barracks also became the administrative headquarters of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.
As well, accommodation needed to be found at the Barracks for Ministers and staff travelling to meetings of the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council in Melbourne.
Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, 1943
Victoria Barracks, 1943. View of main building looking across St. Kilda Road.
Australian War Memorial: ID 052350
Consideration was even given to utilising nearby parks as temporary homes for the overflow, and this led to the unsuccessful ‘Fawkner Park grab’ which prompted an anonymous poet from the Defence Department to put pen to paper:
Well a few attempts with this pano, might have to go back and try again, nearly got it!!!
Lone Tree – Poem by Viraj Bhanshaly
The lone tree stood in the plains,
Gazing at the grass,
Wondering why the grass is small,
And so plenty, bold as brass,
It wondered why it’s lone,
With no family, friends or mates,
And why it’s so so big,
And trapped within the gates.
Why it can’t wonder so freely,
Just as the grass can spread,
And why can’t it live so long,
Like grass for it’s never dead.
But there it stands alone,
Unique people could say,
And morally people are different,
Let it stay that way…
Just as God gave uniqueness,
And that’s what I say today,
To that, still, lone tree,
For let it stays that way…