Lone pines replanted on Anzac Day after drought spells end for historic trees

Texas is a city where locals say almost everyone is military or female related.

It is a small community built on the border of New South Wales and Queensland and is girdled by the Dumaresq River, which dried up in drought a few years ago.

Three of the four lone pines, which were in the cemetery where local service people are buried, withered and died in the dry weather.

A small group of locals raised enough money to ship four pines from the Yarralumla nursery in Canberra and replant them on Anzac Day.

Ann Drennert, a longtime resident, said seeing the trees made her feel close to her great-uncle.

Poppies and rosemary during the replanting ceremony.(ABC News: Lani Oataway)

During the ceremony, Ms Drennert cradled a bear dressed in military attire.

“This is my bear, Vivian. It is in memory of my great uncle who served in Gallipoli then went to France and is buried in France,” she said.

“[Vivian] wears what he wore when he arrived in Gallipoli, and I’ve added the poppy to it since.”

David Parker is a sixth-generation Texan, and he’s the man the locals have rallied behind to raise money for the pines.

Man with medals pinned to coat under the tree
David Parker led the project to bring the pines back to town.(ABC News: Lani Oataway)

“During the drought, as you know, it was very wild and this town almost ran out of water,” he said.

“If it hadn’t been for the regional council that had put in a borehole for us, we wouldn’t have had any water at all.

After 10 years of drought, only one pine remained standing.

School students with trowels planting a pine tree
Local children were involved in the planting.(ABC News: Lani Oataway)

“I find it ironic because there was a lone pine in Gallipoli, and we have a lone pine in Texas – but now we have four,” Mr Parker said.

Bagpipes played as more than 100 people gathered among gum trees with poppies and a rainbow of medals pinned to their jackets.

Texas veteran Mitchell Muggleton scooped up dirt from a baby pine tree with his children and nephews, while local RSL sub-branch and council members planted the others.

“I told the kids straight away that you were going to help no matter what because at the end of the day, once we’re all gone, it’s the kids who have to carry on the tradition,” Ms. Muggleton.

A veteran and a little girl help plant a lone pine tree
Veteran Mitchell Muggleton helps his daughters plant a lone pine tree.(ABC News: Lani Oataway)

“It’s something that’s been lost over the last two years, that kind of education on Anzac Day, so it was great to get the kids involved.”

He said the trees tell a story about the city.

“You know you can look at the bush and Mother Nature can throw whatever she wants at the community, but they’ll always get away with it.

“So it’s actually great to see the new ones planted…and hopefully a drought holds out for a bit to give those a chance to survive.”

Two dogs on a leash.
Residents accompanied their dogs to the cemetery for the ceremony.(ABC News: Lani Oataway)

The atmosphere was hopeful and Mr. Parker felt that this time the trees would last.

“I think they’re going to have to because a lot more people know about these trees now. They were kind of forgotten for a while, and during the drought they were definitely forgotten,” he said. declared.

Mr Parker and the town donated the fourth pine tree to Bonshaw Public School in NSW, where the school’s four pupils planted the tree together on Anzac Day.

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