After two religious fanatics vandalised the Cross of Sacrifice in Toowong, Brisbane City Council estimates that repairing the war memorial would cost up to $20,000.
On March 1, coinciding with the start of Lent, James Joseph Dowling and Andrew William Paine allegedly removed the metal sword at the war monument and reshaped it into a garden hoe.
The two, who have been linked with the Catholic Worker Movement admitted responsibility for the act and stood firm in saying that the sword being placed on a cross was an “act of blasphemy.”
The two justified their act, saying that they were trying to “repair the damage.” After the incident, Paine posted pictures of the act of removal of the sword on social media. Dowling asserted that the “sword was a desecration of the cross.”
Restoration by Anzac Day
Brisbane City Council Lifestyle and Community Services Chair Matthew Bourke expressed disgust at the action of the two individuals. The council promised the people of Brisbane that they are doing their best to have the monument restored as quickly as possible, hopefully in time for Anzac Day on April 25.
The sword is still in the possession of the police, so the council is working closely with the them to get the sword back so that they can start working on a replacement.
The Cross of Sacrifice monument has stood in Toowong Cemetery since 1924 and has served as a symbol to honour fallen Australian soldiers and the man thought to be the founder of Anzac Day, Danon David Garland.