When I was a young 16 yo girl, my very first office job entailed picking up the company’s mail from the General Post Office at the bottom end of Queen Street and then walking back to the top end to start my work day as a Junior Clerk Typist slogging away at those big old typewriters. On cold days the Westerly wind stung as it whipped in and out of the tall buildings and walking that distance in heels was torture.
Every day I walked past MacArthur Chambers and it fascinated me. I knew a little about its history and in time I learnt its significance. (Learning back then was a slower process because we actually had to go to the library to read books or ask those who were older and wiser.) I don’t know why it fascinated me so; I wasn’t consciously interested in the war but it was the 70’s and the war hadn’t long been over, or maybe it was because I was young and in awe of Americans back then.
I learnt that General Douglas MacArthur occupied the offices on the eighth floor in Brisbane from July 1942 to November 1944 and lived at the Lennon’s Hotel. This is now a museum dedicated to his occupation.
On the weekend I visited the MacArthur Museum and still found it fascinating. I managed to take some photos of his office as it would have been set up when occupied and to my surprise the attendant offered to let me sit in the chair behind that big desk. Powerful!!
There is so much to see and learn, lots of reading and well worth the visit. It is certainly a great tribute to a great man. I don’t believe in warfare but do I believe that we can learn from history, and in a perfect world, never repeat mistakes of the past.
Learn more about General MacArthur’s Brisbane occupation here