Planting of a Significant Specimen Tree in Sherwood Arboretum to Mark National Tree Day
Thank you, Mr Arvidsson. Councillor Johnston, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. Good morning to you all.
Today marks National Tree Day, and I can think of no finer place to celebrate than in a public space committed to the care and wellbeing of so many native specimens.
Sherwood Arboretum is a place of immense importance to the people of Queensland, including myself.
I lived in Sherwood with my family from about 1959 until my marriage in 1971, and the memories are fond.
Cycling to and around the Arboretum – to the then amazingly large and panoramic, cared-for inner urban space of obvious horticultural significance – always thrilled.
And so, that teenager/young adult, re-emerges here today as the Governor of, shall we gently say, “more mature” years.
And, in case you were wondering, mine was a humble “Malvern Star”, not a “mountain bike” of today.
From that perspective, I am so pleased to see the Arboretum flourishing, and no doubt continuing to energize the locals, as it did for my friends and me those many years ago.
It is also my pleasure to be here offering some assistance to the students waiting to plant a tree today, in honour of this occasion. (I say “offering some assistance”, as if it’s not the other way around!)
I very much look forward to shortly joining our four students from Sherwood State School. Together we will complete the set of Eumundi quandongs planted here at Sherwood Arboretum.
To those four, and to all your friends, I hope you will return here many times throughout your lives and feel proud of the role you took in planting this tree of significance
You will no doubt have many precious memories of this place, just as I do.
Of course, ours is not the only vice-regal/Sherwood State School connection to these grounds.
Governor Sir Matthew Nathan first opened the park in March 1925, when our beloved avenue of 72 kauri (pron. Cow-ree) trees were planted.
And it was students from Sherwood who planted 100 more trees here that same year.
So, we are all playing our part here today in a wonderful legacy.
Back in 1925, the Arboretum was something of a trendsetter, with its focus on native trees, rather than the exotic species favoured by other Australian arboreta and public gardens.
But what a gift that was, because Sherwood Arboretum is now home to one of the most valuable collections of native tree species in Australia.
I acknowledge and thank the Friends of Sherwood Arboretum for inviting me today. The tireless efforts of these volunteers have ensured that this incredible place has been preserved for future generations of Queenslanders to enjoy.
I also thank the band of Brisbane City Council horticulturalists for their general expertise and optimal presentation today of this grand Arboretum.
Thank you all once again, and I look forward to now joining the students in planting this magnificent specimen on this splendid occasion.