Kowhai to mark Armistice and replace trees

Anglican Dunstan parish vicar the Rev Penny Sinnamon, at Omakau’s Harvey  St reserve, where an...
Anglican Dunstan parish vicar the Rev Penny Sinnamon, at Omakau’s Harvey St reserve, where an Armistice tree-planting ceremony will take place tomorrow, displays a photo of a 1938 memorial tree-planting at a nearby site. Photo: Pam Jones
A humble kowhai in Omakau will both honour Central Otago war sacrifice and replace previous memorial trees that were removed.

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.

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