Eastern Woodturners had the pleasure of hearing from Marion and Lloyd Stott about the history behind the Lone Pine Saplings which were grown and planted from a cone taken from the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli. Below is some information pertaining to their history with particular focus on the Lone Pine Sapling which was planted at The Sisters.
The Pine tree commemorates those who served in World War One and was one of the original seeds brought back from Gallipoli.
(From the Newspaper on the Day)
TERANG, Monday. An interesting ceremony took place at The Sisters’ Memorial Hall yesterday, when one of the four pine trees grown from the Lone Pine cone brought from Gallipoli by Sergeant K. McDowell of Geelong was planted in front of the Memorial Hall. The pine trees were grown from the seeds in the cone by Mrs R. Gray, of Grasmere, her son being a soldier settler at The Sisters. Mr A. McLean, president of The Sisters’ Memorial Hall, introduced Mrs Gray who handed the tree to Sergeant McDowell. He then handed it to Mr. I. S. Black who jointly performed the planting. Canon Williams of Mortlake conducted a brief service. Addresses were given by Colonel G.A. Street, Colonel A. J. Staughton, Mr. J. Gillies, (president of the Terang sub-branch of the Returned Soldiers’ League) and Mr. C. Paton (president of No 13 district board). There was a large attendance from Terang and the surrounding districts, which included 70 returned soldiers.
Argus (Melbourne), 20 June 1933.
The Lone Pine was the name given to a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915 during World War One and it was the sole survivor of a group of trees that had been cut down by Turkish soldiers who had used the timber and branches to cover their trenches.
The tree was obliterated during the battle; however, pine cones that had remained attached to the cut branches over the trenches were retrieved by two Australian soldiers and brought home to Australia. Private Thomas Keith McDowell, a soldier of the 23rd Battalion brought a pine cone from the battle site back to Australia, and many years later seeds from the cone were planted by his wife’s aunt Emma Gray of Grassmere, near Warrnambool, Victoria and five seedlings emerged, with four surviving. These seedlings were planted in four different locations in Victoria: Wattle Park (May 8, 1933), the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne (June 11, 1933), the Soldiers Memorial Hall at The Sisters near Terang (June 18, 1933) and Warrnambool Botanic Gardens (January 23, 1934).
In the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 12 July 2016, the Lone Pine tree at The Sisters Soldiers Memorial Hall was uprooted after days of strong north-westerly winds. During the previous year, The Sisters community came together for a special celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of Lone Pine.
The community decided in the end to give the wood to local arts and crafts specialist to create featured pieces out of the wood, some of which are on display within the community.
Marion and Lloyd were lucky enough to be given a piece of the timber from the tree to use during their presentation about the saplings. Wanting to use the timber as a part of the presentation and to give further respect to those who have lost their lives during the battle, Marion had asked fellow turner Charlie Chamberlain to turn two candlesticks out of the timber so she would be able to light a candle during the presentation as a sign of respect. Below are some images of the timber and the resulting candlestick which were turned out of the timber and presented to Marion and Lloyd.