Tom's sister Kim on the right &  her niece & grandniece on the left watering the tree for the first time.  Marrickville Council even brought watering cans for the family to water the tree.

Tom’s sister Kim on the right & her niece & grandniece on the left watering the tree , a Blueberry ash, for the first time.  Marrickville Council even brought watering cans for the family to use.

This morning I went to a very moving, yet joyous memorial tree-planting event at Enmore TAFE Park in Simmons Street Enmore.

This is the first memorial tree planted for perhaps decades.  I have seen some memorial trees in Camperdown Park that were planted in the 1950s & another in Alison Playground Dulwich Hill.

Until this event, modern day Marrickville Council did not do memorial trees.  Clr Phillips brought the issue as a Notice of Motion to the Council Meeting of 6th November 2012.   Happily the vote to allow this particular memorial tree to be planted & for a policy about memorial trees, to be prepared by Council, was voted unanimously by all Councillors.

This memorial tree was planted for local man Tom Buchanan 1953 – 2005.  He & his family grew up in Simmons Street, opposite the Enmore TAFE Park & before, when the land was a bakery.  Tom’s sisters Kim & Jayne, Jayne’s daughter Jody & Jody’s daughter Emma attended the planting today.   Kim had travelled from rural South Australia to be here today.   I thank the family for allowing me to attend.

Marrickville Council gave the family a choice of tree species & they chose a Blueberry ash.

Three Marrickville Council workers prepared the ground for the tree.  The tree was planted & each family member was allowed to finish the planting.  New mulch surrounded the tree.  The tree itself was a beautiful specimen standing over 2-metres tall.  It has been planted in an empty space with lots of room to grow to its full potential & will be a benefit to the park, to the community & to urban wildlife.

Jayne spoke beautifully about the meaning of the memorial tree for their family, as well as future generations of their family.  She also spoke of her brother & how much he would have liked this.  One of Marrickville Council’s Tree Managers also spoke about the importance of this tree.  It was nice to see him there, representing Council.

We al loved that the staff went to such effort to decorate a brand new spade for the event.   This was very nice of Council.

We all loved that the staff went to such effort to decorate a brand new spade for the event. This was very nice of Council.

The Council workers had made an effort with small things that make quite a difference.  The spade was shining new & they had tied a bow around it.  We all noticed & this pleased the family greatly.

It was not like a funeral.  There was more joy that this was happening, than sadness, though the family said there would be tears once they got home.  I mention this because some may feel that these kinds of events would be maudlin, but in reality they are events that bring peace & happiness.  The family said other members of the family will visit the tree over the years & ensure their children & grandchildren see where it is.

I thank the Marrickville Councillors for voting to allow this to happen.  I also thank Marrickville Council & the Council staff for the trouble they took to make this a meaningful event.  The tree was beautiful, the effort to make the spade pretty was perfect, the speeches & the smiling staff was lovely.  This was a great event & it made the family very happy.  For me it felt great to be part of something that has so much meaning & brings happiness to people.

I hope that when the report does come back to the Council Meeting that the recommendation is to allow memorial trees to be planted across Marrickville LGA & that this is supported by the Marrickville Councillors.

Trees bring people happiness & help with grief, especially as they are symbolic of ongoing life.  It would be wonderful if our Council could be a facilitator of healing in the community.

From left to right:  Kim, Marrickville Council workers, Jody & Emma & Marrickville Council's Tree Manager.

From left to right: Kim, Marrickville Council workers, Jody & Emma & Council’s Tree Manager.

From left to right:  Jody, Emma, Kim & Jayne with Tom's tree.

From left to right: Jody, Emma, Kim & Jayne with Tom’s tree.

 

 

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