IT’S stood tall in the botanic gardens for the past 80 years, now Warrnambool’s Lone Pine is ready to again bask in the spotlight.
This week federal MP Dan Tehan announced a $5000 Anzac Centenary grant to the Friends of the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens (FOWBG) for new interpretive signage, fencing and a propagation project aiming to produce new seedlings from the tree.
The Warrnambool tree is the healthiest of three surviving trees grown from seeds from a pine cone brought back from the Gallipoli battlefield to Australia by Private Keith McDowell.
FOWBG president Pat Varley said the preservation, propagation and promotion project has been supported by both the Warrnambool Legacy Club and the Warrnambool RSL sub-branch.
“Melbourne Legacy is interested in obtaining some cones from our tree and will assist us with the harvest and propagation,” Mrs Varley said.
The Warrnambool grant was one of 15 announced in the Wannon electorate.
Other south-west projects to gain funding under the program include refurbishments of the Hexham, Warrnambool, Terang, Skipton and Port Campbell war memorials and restoration of World War I honour rolls at Cobden Primary School and the Glenthompson RSL.
Mr Tehan said the centenary of the First World War next year will be the most significant period of commemoration in Australia’s history. “It’s not just the opportunity to remember events of 100 years ago, it’s also an opportunity to remember 100 years of service by local veterans,” he said.
“The centenary of Anzac is a period for all of us to reflect, to understand that Australia today is the result of the sacrifice of 102,785 Australians killed in action, the hundreds of thousands wounded in action and the more than one million Australians who have worn the uniform of the Australian Defence Force.”
“By the end of the Anzac centenary period in 2018 the aim was to leave a legacy in the minds of younger Australians about the service and sacrifice of past generations and the responsibility to care for those who have defended our freedoms and way of life.”