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Three trees were planted in an area now known as the Deaker St triangle, in Harvey St, in about 1938 to honour the Armistice and the district’s contribution to World War 1, vicar of the Anglican parish of Dunstan the Rev Penny Sinnamon said.
But when power lines that used to be on the other side of the street were shifted to run over the top of the trees, the trees became subject to necessary but "vigorous" regular topping, she said.
The trees were removed several years ago by Central Otago District Council contractors without their wartime link having been known and the area replanted with silver tussocks.
Mrs Sinnamon said she was "not cross" the trees had been removed, as they had become "ugly trees", but she wished she had known about their removal as cuttings could possibly have been taken from them first.
CODC parks team leader Ian Mann said the trees had been in "poor form", and the council had spoken to representatives of the Omakau Ratepayers’ Association and the Manuherikia Future group at the time and "there was no mention of the trees having been planted to commemorate Armistice".
Mrs Sinnamon said a kowhai tree would be planted near the Deaker St triangle, in the Harvey St reserve, for Armistice celebrations tomorrow.
More memorial trees would be planted next year and possibly the year after that, she said.The woman who planted the original trees, Jean Bell, of Galloway, would plant the kowhai.