White’s tree vision has been realised for town
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.
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.