The Dome of Stars
Photo by Rob Tuckwell
Crowning the Hall of Memory is a domed ceiling covered in tiny golden stars. The ceiling of the Hall of Memory is 26 metres high. It is covered with 120,000 stars. The stars are a symbolic representation of the men and women from New South Wales who embarked for overseas service during the Great War.
When funds for the construction of the Anzac Memorial began to dry up the Trustees accepted a proposal that members of the public could purchase a star for 2 shillings (2/-), a significant donation during a time of austerity, and the money would go into the building fund. While not all of the stars were sold a sufficient amount of money was raised by the scheme to enable the completion of the Anzac Memorial.
The stars are made from plaster covered in gold paint and glued into position. The Book of the Anzac Memorial (1934) describes: 'this Golden Galaxy symbolises all those men and women from New South Wales who served in the war – one star for every man or woman who heard the call – a constellation of honour and memory totalling 120,000. These stars, placed high above the eye of the spectator and lighted by the amber glass of the great windows, makes of the interior of the Hall a place of sacred memories.'
In fact over 130,000 men and women from New South Wales served in the Australian Imperial Force. The state also contributed men to the Royal Australian Navy and a significant number of people from the state served in other armies and navies of the British Empire during the war.