Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lest we forget

Streets paved not with gold, but bottle trees, is what makes Roma unique. This town in central Queensland is beautiful, layered with green the way it is. The tradition of the bottle trees relates back to the end of World War One, and a desire to honour the local boys who served their country so well. With a Council accolade awarding the "largest" bottle tree in Roma to the tree at the park adjacent to the intersection of Bungil and Edwardes Streets, it never occurred to me to question the announcement. I had started on my quest to identify whether this large tree still existed on the request of a colleague who had located historic photos identifying this address within the images in our (State Library of Queenslands) historic collections. The tree is huge and apparently deserving of the title of "largest". After all it has a fence around it, a sign declaring its status and a road sign to direct tourists to e location of the tree. On questioning how the tree is measured, by height?.... by girth?...I was surprised to have a local tell me that the largest bottle tree is not this one, but another one, located on private property a few streets away. With access restricted it seems that a Clayton's "largest tree" is preferable to a sign declaring "Second largest tree".

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