The Significance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Opening

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  • Topic: Sydney Harbour Bridge, World War I, Great Depression
  • Pages : 3 (956 words )
  • Download(s) : 1489
  • Published : September 15, 2010
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The opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 had great significance in Australian society. The bridge, an architectural marvel, cemented Australia’s status as a rising nation, joined Sydney’s two shores, alleviated the effects of the great depression and the opening provided a stage for the theatrics of the semi-fascist New Guard.

Nationally, the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge marked a huge step forward for Australia. The Bridge’s strong, impressive form gave an idea of strength and success the not only reflected well on Australia, but also gave credit to the motherland, England. On the bridge’s 75th Anniversary Ceremony, Malcolm Turnball remarked “It immediately became to Sydney what the Eiffel Tower was to Paris and the Statue of Liberty to New York; an expression in steel of the energy, the confidence and the promise of a global city.” The new bridge was Australia’s first internationally recognisable construction and it demonstrated to the rest of the world that Sydney, and Australia were prospering and successful, even if they were amongst the hardest hit by the great depression.

Although the bridge’s formal proposal was accepted in 1911, serious initiatives began after world war one, a time of great celebration and national pride. Australia was looking for a way to both celebrate the brave effort of the soldiers, and remember the men who never returned and it seemed the ‘north shore bridge’ was a great opportunity for such a tribute. John Bradfield, the engineer assigned to the bridge project remarked that ‘the bridge will typify the resourcefulness and idealism of our fallen men.’ Not only is the bridge a symbol of Australia patriotism, it also pays respect to those who lost their lives in the Great War. Although it was obviously not planned, by the time of the bridge’s opening there were sixteen other men to pay respect to, those who died whilst constructing the bridge.

Technically, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was and still remains to be...
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