When Governor Sir Francis Newdegate opened the Anzac Memorial Hostel on Anzac Day 1919, The Examiner reported that: "Henceforth there will stand in Patterson-street Launceston's monument to the gallants of Tasmania, which is so fitting that time will never efface from memory the valour of our troops, for the Anzac Memorial Hostel will stand for all time as a reminder."
In 1997 the hostel was demolished to make way for a development that never happened and remains as a car park.
First proposed by the Launceston sub-branch of the Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' League in 1917, the "ever-ready patriotic ladies of Launceston" soon raised 4000 pounds of the required 7000 to build the hostel.
In 1919 the appeal campaign included the sale of a badge with the slogan "Be a brick, buy a brick, for a brick" at one shilling each.
The Examiner regularly published lists of donors and tallied the amounts raised.
The hostel opened without debt.
It provided a temporary home for soldiers from the country and a permanent home for those who needed it.
They could find accommodation and recreation as well as meet with their old comrades and reminisce over a meal, play cards or enjoy the piano.
No alcohol was allowed on the premises.
The imposing structure, designed by the architectural firm of North, Ricards and Haywood, was three storeys high, with dining and recreation rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms above.
The kitchen and services were at the back, with gas stoves provided.
The internal fittings and furniture were donated by businesses, organisations, and individuals, using locally made products to support manufacturing in Launceston.
One front window of the hostel sported a large badge of the League, while on each window was the monogram "A.M.H." a constant reminder of the building's purpose.
At the opening ceremony hundreds of Launceston residents lined the streets behind barricades, as the Railway Band, conducted by Leonard Corrick, led troops marching from Cornwall Square to form a guard of honour for Sir Francis in front of the hostel.
A group of Voluntary Aid Detachments formed up on either side of the main entrance while a group of Women's Army Auxiliary Corps stood nearby.
Eleven men received decorations from His Excellency for gallantry in the field.
RL Parker, chairman of the hostel committee, handed the Governor an engraved gold key to open the building and the official party proceeded to the balcony.
The barricades were removed, and the crowd surged forward so they could hear the rousing patriotic speeches, interspersed with their cheers.
The hostel was not quite complete on opening day, but in July 1919 three "house warming parties" were held, with invitations to tour the institution issued alphabetically to all who had contributed.
By then the Anzac Memorial Hostel had justified its existence, as hundreds of returned servicemen had already used the facility.
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