So, the names for the stations on the Metro rail line have been announced. The station originally designated as Parkville will stay the same, but CBD South becomes Town Hall, CBD North becomes the State Library and Domain, near the Shrine, will be called Anzac. The station at Arden will be named North Melbourne, while the existing North Melbourne station will be renamed West Melbourne.
I suppose these are relatively uncontroversial, although the renaming of the existing North Melbourne station could cause a bit of confusion. Perhaps this can be minimised by making this change well before the Metro line is opened.
The general reaction seems to be that the naming of one station as Anzac is a “good” thing, although the link is to Daniel Bowen’s site, and he admits he was on the naming panel, so perhaps he’s not entirely disinterested in the reaction! Personally, I don’t know what was wrong with “Domain”.
However, I do wonder how the “Honest Historians” feel about the name “Anzac”. Their basic message (on their website) is “Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been” and they “challenge the misuse of history to serve political or other agendas”. Well, I have only sampled the material on the website, but from the little I know about them I have problems with their own “agenda”. Moreover, I heard a talk recently from a person who supported their approach, and the conclusion I drew was that he at least thought that the way we commemorate Anzac Day “glorifies militarism”. In short, the “agenda” in his case seemed to lean strongly towards pacifism, and hence he thought Australia’s history ought to de-emphasise the country’s military history in general and the Anzac tradition in particular. He also had a problem with the level of funding for the Australian War Memorial.
I’m far from convinced that the community’s perception of Australia’s history is as slanted as he appeared to think it is, but be that as it may, I strongly suspect that the naming of the new station isn’t going to please him and probably not the other supporters of that site!