Redland City mayor and councillors commemorate 75th anniversary of VP Day at Birkdale radio receiving station

HISTORY: Cr Paul Bishop, Mayor Karen Williams and Redlands RSL sub-branch military wellbeing advocate volunteer Graham Hinson inside the Birkdale radio receiving station. Photo: Redland City Council.
HISTORY: Cr Paul Bishop, Mayor Karen Williams and Redlands RSL sub-branch military wellbeing advocate volunteer Graham Hinson inside the Birkdale radio receiving station. Photo: Redland City Council.

A FORMER top secret US military base hidden in the Redlands is being remembered for the crucial role it played in announcing that World War II was over.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it had remained relatively unknown that the radio receiving station, built by the United States Army at Birkdale, had been a vital link in receiving and sharing the news that Japan had surrendered - signalling the end of the war.

"As our local community marks the 75th anniversary of VP Day tomorrow, it is fitting that we acknowledge the crucial role Redlands Coast played in this significant event.

"To our knowledge this is the last remaining building of its kind in Australia," she said.

Cr Paul Bishop said a number of interesting stories surrounding local WWII military activities were starting to be revealed - and many had remained secret for decades.

"When Redland City Council purchased the site from the federal government in December last year, it was the first time there had been access by others outside the commonwealth government, to what was otherwise a top-secret military site," Cr Bishop said.

He said VP Day was an important opportunity to recognise the significant war efforts that went on right within the community.

Redlands RSL sub-branch military wellbeing advocate volunteer Graham Hinson has lived in the Redlands for 43 years and said he had been surprised to discover the history of the Birkdale site.

"We at the Redlands RSL Sub-Branch are pleased that it has been heritage listed now for future generations to see," he said.

In commemorating VP Day, Cr Bishop likened local efforts during the battle of WWII to current challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Once again we are faced with a global threat," Cr Bishop said.

"The events from 75 years ago represent a reminder to us of the last time our resilient local community was fighting an invisible enemy, facing austerity and working as one in lockstep with government leaders."

Council is keen to hear from residents who may have stories to tell about the history of the 61.78ha site.

"While much is already known about the land, a great deal of its history is locked in the memories and experiences of residents, with many having childhood stories of the land and the creek," Cr Williams said.

To share your stories with council, visit theYour Say Redlands Coast Birkdale Land page.

REMEMBERED: Mayor Karen Williams, Graham Hinson from Redlands RSL sub-branch and councillors outside the radio station. Photo: Redland City Council.

REMEMBERED: Mayor Karen Williams, Graham Hinson from Redlands RSL sub-branch and councillors outside the radio station. Photo: Redland City Council.