Trees of Tribute planted to honour local service personnel

In 1940 the Murray Bridge Corporation and the Mobilong District Council adopted the proposal from the National Tree Planting Council of South Australia, that an avenue of trees be planted in honour of residents who had enlisted for services overseas.

Each tree would have the person's name and Unit number on a plaque to be attached to the tree. Mayor Mr H H Hefford announced the "Trees of Tribute" would be planted along both sides of Adelaide Road to make an imposing entrance to the town in years to come. The planting commenced with a ceremony on Saturday 27th July 1940.

Mayor Hefford and the district council chairman Mr J L Cowan made reference to the gallantry of those prepared to sacrifice their lives for their country and hoped the trees would flourish and become objects of adornment and utility.

Thirty nine kurrajong trees were planted along Adelaide Road, west of Thomas Street. The first trees were for ex-Mayor Mr K C McLean AIF and Sister M Male, the first local nurse to go overseas.

Eventually about 90 trees were planted between Thomas Street and Maurice Road and Mobilong Council made a commitment to continue along Adelaide Road.

Unfortunately in January 1941, 10 inches of rain fell in Murray Bridge in 48 hours and some of the trees needed to be replaced. A councillor not impressed by the progress being made by the kurrajongs suggested that consideration be made for the substitution of Arizona pines.

In June 1944 the corporation decided to transplant the trees from Adelaide Road to a rise on the western side of the roadway through Gehrike's paddock. The growth of the trees had been most unsatisfactory and the gardener could not recommend another kind of tree to replace the kurrajongs.

The Corporation gave permission to the relatives of the service personnel to take charge of the trees in order to plant them on their properties.

Can anyone remember the kurrajongs or making little birds from the dried seed pods?