Hon­our­ing our fallen with the av­enue of trees

The Western Star - - NEWS -

Sarah Me­hay: Dur­ing the first world war, Roma lost many lads. The then-mayor, Al­der­man Wil­son Mis­cam­ble, thought it would be a good idea to have a liv­ing me­mo­rial of an av­enue of trees ded­i­cated to each of the fallen boys from Roma State School. On Septem­ber 20, 1918, the first 27 bot­tle trees were planted and ded­i­cated and by 1920 the orig­i­nal 93 trees be­came Roma’s He­roes’ Av­enue.

On Oc­to­ber 21, 1992, Roma’s Ceno­taph and He­roes’ Av­enue be­came listed on the Queens­land Her­itage Reg­is­ter.

Over the years, Peter Kee­gan re­searched the orig­i­nal 93 sol­diers and their con­nec­tion to Roma and the dis­trict. In the mid-1990s, Re­becca Kupfer joined Peter in re­search­ing and start­ing up the Adopt a Tree Pro­gram to gather in­ter­ested fam­i­lies, com­mu­nity and busi­nesses to adopt a tree in mem­ory of a fallen sol­dier from Roma and the sur­round­ing dis­trict.

From De­cem­ber 2016 to April 2018, the RSL Roma Sub-Branch as­sisted in the grant fund­ing process and was suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing a grant to up­date the plaques.

On Septem­ber 22, 2018, we will be hold­ing a cer­e­mony for the cen­te­nary of the plant­ing and ded­i­ca­tion of the first bot­tle tree at the post of­fice cor­ner.

An ad­di­tional three plaques were found and are be­ing ded­i­cated into the av­enue to bring the to­tal to 140 fallen lads from Roma and the dis­trict be­ing re­mem­bered.

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