Hamish Finlay and Zachary Harradine from Gooburrum State School under the 'Prince of Wales' 100-year-old tree.
Hamish Finlay and Zachary Harradine from Gooburrum State School under the 'Prince of Wales' 100-year-old tree.

School discovers piece of history within its gates

ONE hundred year old trees triumphantly mark the entrance to Gooburrum State School but up until recently, their history was forgotten.

It was only through a Facebook page that school Principal Halli Cantrell found out about their tremendous history and the age of the trees.

A newspaper clipping was shared to the page from the Bundaberg Mail that detailed how a ceremony was held on June 11, 1920 to celebrate Arbour Day and to present the Children's Peace Medals to the 18 enrolled students.

In the morning, the headteacher and students planted three trees and named them 'Prince of Wales' in honour of his Australian Tour, Victory, and Peace as a sign of respect to the Australian Diggers who fought and died in WW1.

Despite being severely damaged in a storm a few years ago, the trees still stand tall towering over the school.

Year 1 and 2 students from Gooburrum State School standing under their 100-year-old tree.
Year 1 and 2 students from Gooburrum State School standing under their 100-year-old tree.

Ms Cantrell said the school community was excited to find out about the piece of history and students were now inquisitively asking the age of other trees on the school grounds.

"We knew they were old but didn't know exactly how old and certainly didn't know they were planted in commemoration of the end of WW1," Ms Cantrell said.

"We are planning on getting plaques made for the trees and putting their names on the plaques and cleaning them up a bit.

"We want the kids to learn the history and the importance of the end of WW1 and that part of it as well."

Ms Cantrell said the news brought home our old the school was, as it was opened in 1984, and reaffirmed their desire to protect their little pieces of history.

"There are quite a lot of historic relics around the school so it is nice to know we have another one," she said.

"We still have our old undercover area and our kanaka bell that we still use every day.

"We are trying to keep the history alive like the forest that we are in the process of regenerating."



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