White’s tree vi­sion has been re­alised for town

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Mur­ree erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au

BEAU­TI­FY­ING and im­prov­ing the town of Biggen­den by plant­ing trees in the streets is not a new idea.

Coun­cil and news­pa­per re­ports can trace the slow and tor­tu­ous process back to at least 1918 when a pro­posal by Degilbo Shire Coun­cil chair­man Chas White, to plant a row of trees along the length of Vic­to­ria St, from where the CWA now stands to Biggen­den Hos­pi­tal, was made.

An of­fi­cer from the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion was even in­vited to Biggen­den to ad­vise on what trees to plant.

In 1919, Degilbo Progress As­so­ci­a­tion wanted trees planted in Degilbo as an ev­er­last­ing me­mo­rial to the mem­ory of “the boys who would never re­turn”.

The coun­cil looked at us­ing some of the grant re­ceived from the Gov­ern­ment’s repa­tri­a­tion fund to plant trees in each of the towns.

How­ever, the al­ter­na­tive pro­posal to im­prove the road (to be named AN­ZAC Road) be­tween Biggen­den and Degilbo won the day due to lack of lo­cal help for tree plant­ing.

The project never got off the ground.

Turn now to 1938, when the sub­ject of beau­ti­fy­ing the streets of Biggen­den again be­came a hot topic of dis­cus­sion in the coun­cil.

A visit by the Shire Coun­cil chair­man to Bris­bane even re­sulted in the of­fer by the Lord Mayor, Al­der­man Jones, an ex-res­i­dent of Degilbo Shire, to do­nate trees to the project. Again, dis­cus­sion went back and forth, pro­pos­als in­clud­ing two rows along Vic­to­ria St and a line of trees along the cen­tre of Ed­ward St, still with the aim of beau­ti­fy­ing the town and in mem­ory of fallen sol­diers, old pi­o­neers and past coun­cil­lors. It was sug­gested trees could be planted in other streets too.

By Septem­ber 1940, the project had still not started and with the in­ter­ven­tion of World War II, the ad­vent of street light­ing in the cen­tre of Vic­to­ria St and con­flict­ing ar­gu­ments about plant­ing trees at all, the whole project seems to have lapsed.

In the 1970s, when the is­sue of plant­ing trees any­where in Biggen­den streets was in­for­mally raised with coun­cil mem­bers, the re­sponse was al­ways in the neg­a­tive.

Ex­actly 100 years since a con­crete pro­posal about plant­ing trees in Biggen­den streets was made, some­thing has ac­tu­ally hap­pened in Oc­to­ber last year. Twenty Water­housea flori­bunda or weep­ing lilli pilli were planted on the ap­proaches to Biggen­den along Caro­line St. It’s hoped this will be the start of the green­ing of Biggen­den streets, to pro­vide shade and to add beauty to the town.

PHOTO: ERICA MUR­REE

GOAL ACHIEVED: Zane White, Bruce Cox, Harry White, Roger White and Mered­ith White at the av­enue of trees their an­ces­tor Chas White vi­su­alised 100 years ago for Biggen­den.

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