The Dal Ryan War Memorial Swimming PoolPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The Dal Ryan War Memorial Swimming Pool was originally erected to commemorate those who have served in the various conflicts in which Australia has been involved.  It was renamed to commemorate Dal Ryan for his outstanding service to the community and his country on the 21st January 1995.

The Swimming Pool Committee started in 1947 on an ambitious project of raising £10,000 for a swimming pool to be the district's war memorial. It struggled against apathy and outright opposition with many early supporters falling by the wayside, leaving only a handful of workers including the inaugurator, Mr. Angus Meikle. In 1953, Mr Max Whitehouse, managing director of Queen Street Hotels Pty Ltd gave land at his birthplace, Laidley, for a war memorial swimming pool.
Queensland Times, 14th October 1952,
The Courier Mail, 9th February 1953.


Address:John Street, Laidley, 4341
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.632535
Long: 152.392237
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict


Front Inscription


Plaque :

This Plaque Commemorates The Opening Of The  Laidley War Memorial Swimming Pool On The  20th November 1971

Chairman of Council  W. A. M. Gunn
Deputy Chariman       R. L. Pitt
G. G. Ferrari  R. Harm         C. C. Moon
L. H. Fritz       J. P. Martin     F. Peters
J. K. Gard      R. K. Milligan  W. F. Weier

Shire Clerk         B. L. Fox
Engineers          John Wilson & Partners
Overseer            C. R. Francis
Health Surveyor  J. K. Kleinschmidt

Plaque :

Dal Ryan

Born at Ballina in 1896, Dal Ryan worked for some years on the railway at Kyogle.  He joined the A.I.F. in 1917 and was posted to the 11th Regiment of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, serving in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.  Dal took part in history`s last great cavalry charge on 25th September 1918 at the Battle of Semakh on the edge of the Sea of Gallilee, where the Light Horse defeated a numerically superior enemy force.  He is featured in a display at the Australian War Museum on the Battle of Semakh.

After the war, Dal went to work with the railway, and moved to Laidley in 1941 as a signals maintenance officer.  In the following years he was to campaign for construction of the public swimming pool that now bears his name and was its first manager for some years.  He also coached and ran the local swimming club.

As an active member of the Australian Labor Party for most of his life, he was instrumental in promoting the interest of that party in the area.  He became campaign manager in the early 1960`s for Bill Hayden, who after a distinguished career in politics became leader of the Australian Labor Party and Australia`s Governor General.  Dal was Bill Hayden`s campaign manager from 1960 and remained friends for more than 30 years.  He was honoured by the attendance of the then Governor General Bill Hayden, along with many other dignitaries, family and well wishers at the dedication of this pool.

He died on 6 September 1995, aged 98.

Plaque :
The Dal Ryan War Memorial Swimming Pool
This pool was renamed and dedicated in honour of Mr. Dal Ryan for outstanding service to his country and the community by the FGovernor General of the Commonwealth of Australia The Honourable Bill Hayden A.C. on the 21st January 1995.

Source: MA,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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