“Queens-land-er, Queens-land-er”, screem the fans from the terraces.
State of Origin is here once again. Queensland versus New South Wales. the sport of rugby league. A game where 26 men knock seven bells out of each other for eighty minutes. A game that would not have been out of place at the Colosseum back in Roman times.
Physical contact is full on. No armor or padding for protection, these are modern day gladiators, fighting for the pride of their State. For supremacy. To prove who is the best.
The ball skills ….(oops, I’ve neglected to mentioned this is football…. well, ‘throw ball’ if you want a more accurate description) are to be admired, fast hands and accurate passing, all in the face of a bunch of opponents as they attempts to knock you down, these are tough men.
Brisbane’s Colosseum, Lang Park (or as the sponsors would prefer, Suncorp Stadium) is built on land once used as the final resting place for many the States first gladiators. People who also did it tough, the people who carved out the foundation of our city.
Paddington Cemetery as it was dates back to 1843 and over the years some 4000 people were buried on the site.
Today all that remains is a quiet sanctuary, a memorial garden with 21 monuments, at the southern stand of the stadium.
Along with a small Church the manicured gardens sit jammed uncomfortably against the massive glass and concrete wall of the stadium.
Between events this is a restful place, somewhere to pause and reflect, a sanctuary to escape from the busy city.