Kids care for pine trees that honour war veterans at Bruns
THE Terrace Reserve Caravan Park was the scene of a community Anzac Day tribute last Friday when students from Brunswick Heads Public School came to symbolically water the rows of pine trees planted there to honour veterans of the First World War.
Local resident D'Arcy O'Meara, who was born in a house just opposite the reserve, joined the students to share the history of the park's establishment.
He told them of the popular decision to establish a living and perpetual memorial.
"After the Gallipoli campaign the pine tree had become a symbol of Australians at war, and as the hardy pine lives for hundreds of years, it was appropriate to establish a memorial pine tree park," he said.
Mr O'Meara said the War Memorial Pine Park was extended into the Brunswick Terrace Native Flora Reserve which included several Aboriginal sites.
"Teams of volunteers began their work in the early 1920s and seedlings were collected," he said.
"The young trees needed water, so a spear pump was sunk across the road near Nana St and students from the Brunswick Heads Public School were recruited to pump the water, keep the drum full, and carry the water across to the volunteers during the watering sessions."
Mr O'Meara was one of those young students recruited to water the trees.
"I live across the road and I feel like a bit of a custodian of the place and the trees that are here," he said.
He said the existence in the park of three Aboriginal middens and three sacred mounds added to the park's importance.
"Having a caravan park in here is a desecration of a war memorial and you can see chainsaw cowboys have been at work on the trees," Mr O'Meara said.
"I would like to see a restoration of the memorial park."
Newly-elected Ballina MP Tamara Smith also has a strong connection to Brunswick Heads and does not want to see the foreshore lost.
"I will be meeting with the Minister for Crown Lands, Nial Blair, to get some clarity regarding North Terrace Caravan Park," she said.
"What has been proposed so far is out of step with the community wants."