DST stories: Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance

Scott Harrington scott.harrington at forexster.com
Wed Aug 29 06:08:39 UTC 2001

On KQED's "City Arts and Lectures" program tonight I heard an interesting
story about daylight savings time.  Dr. John Heilbron was discussing his
book "The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories"[1], and in
particular the Shrine of Remembrance[2] located in Melbourne, Australia.

Apparently the shrine's main purpose is a beam of sunlight which
illuminates a special spot on the floor at the 11th hour of the 11th day
of the 11th month (Remembrance Day) every year in memory of Australia's
fallen WWI soldiers.  And if you go there on Nov. 11, at 11am local time,
you will indeed see the sunbeam illiminate the special spot at the
expected time.

However, that is only because of some special mirror contraption that had
to be employed, since due to daylight savings time, the true solar time of
the remembrance moment occurs one hour later (or earlier?).  Perhaps
someone with more information on this jury-rig can tell us more.

If anyone who reads this in time is interested, the KQED broadcast (which
was actually first broadcast back in April) will repeat at 2001-08-29
02:00 PDT, or 09:00 GMT, although the Melbourne story was in the last
quarter hour of the lecture, i.e. 09:45-10:00Z.  If you're not in San
Francisco, you can listen on the web[3].

[1] http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/HEISUN.html
[2] http://www.shrine.org.au
[3] http://www.kqed.org

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