Around 300 people gathered in Port Douglas on Saturday 10 February 1923 to witness the unveiling of the war memorial, funded by the ladies of the Port Douglas Red Cross Society. Special trains had been put on to ferry passengers from Mosman and Mowbray. Mrs Catherine Trezise of Mowbray, whose son Joseph had been the first of the district to fall, performed the unveiling. He had died of illness in Malta in November 1915. The memorial featured a soldier statue, facing east, on a high stone base. On the front was a slab with the names of soldiers from the region who had lost their lives. At the time the locality was within Macrossan Street. The post office used to be located on this corner.
By 1947 a request was made by the progress association to have the land now known as ANZAC park transferred from the Commonwealth. At the time it remained a customs reserve. Eventually the land was transferred and on ANZAC Day in 1950 commemoration services were held in the newly named Anzac Memorial Park on the waterfront. Repairs were made to the soldier statue at the time and plans were made to beautify the park.