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    Roma -War Memorial - Bottle trees

    contributed by JohnH, taken in 1935
    (contact JohnH about this picture | see more pictures from JohnH - open in new window)

    This photo was scanned from an old Main Roads Department post card. It is thought that the photo was taken in about the mid 1930s

    The Heroes Avenue of 93 bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestre) was planted by 1920 and was the initial memorial to those in the First World War. Each tree originally bore a brass plaque stating the name of one of the 93 local men who fell during the First World War. Only one of these plaques survives, now on a cairn which was dedicated by the Roma RSL sub-branch on Remembrance Day, 1983. The cairn is located outside the Post Office near the corner of McDowell and Wyndham Streets. It also provides information regarding the rows of bottle trees and lists the 93 names originally displayed on the trees. Some of the original trees have been replaced and some have been removed to allow for increases in traffic.

    The impetus for the Heroes Avenue began with the Mayor of Roma, Alderman Miscamble who had been impressed by avenues of memorial trees in southern states. The bottle tree was selected as it was a species commonly associated with Roma and it is thought that the first was planted in 1918 to commemorate the death of local soldier Lt Cpl Norman Saunders who was killed in France in 1916. This is the tree located outside the Post Office and known locally as the Tree of Knowledge. Trees were planted to commemorate subsequent deaths and although the plaques have disappeared each tree still retains its association with a particular soldier.
    (Source: EPA Cultural Heritage Register)

    This picture is also part of the following Bonzle photo collections: